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easyJet ending flights from Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports on 31st August

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easyJet confirmed yesterday that it is to close its bases at London Stansted, London Southend and Newcastle.

The news was initially announced in June but was subject to a legally required consultation process.  This consultation has now concluded and the closure will go ahead as planned.

The closure date has been set for 31st August.

The closures do not mean the end of easyJet flights at Stansted and Newcastle.  The airline will fly there from other hubs, using crew based there.  It will mean the end of services to non-hub airports as well as redundancy for the cabin crew, pilots and maintenance staff based at the three airports.

easyJet to close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Bristol

The closure DOES mean the end of all easyJet services from Southend, as the airport is not served from other easyJet hubs.  The airline will retain eight bases across the UK.

Stansted and Newcastle have been in decline for some time

Stansted and Newcastle have both become substantially less important to easyJet over the last decade.  Many Stansted services have moved to London Gatwick as the airline secured more landing slots, whilst Newcastle seems to have proven less lucrative than alternative destinations.

According to data, easyJet flew 34% fewer seats from Stansted in 2019 vs 2010, whilst at Newcastle the decline was 27% over the same period.

Southend has never really found its feet, despite huge investment in the airport by Stobart Group.  It is unclear what sort of future it may have – part of the strategy was for bankrupt Flybe, part owned by Stobart Group, to move an increasing number of flights there.

In a media statement, Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO, said:

“We have had to take the very difficult decision to close three UK bases as a result of the unprecedented impact of the pandemic and related travel restrictions, compounded by quarantine measures in the UK which is impacting demand for travel.”

“Working closely with our employee representatives, I am pleased that we have been able to identify ways to significantly reduce the number of proposed compulsory redundancies through providing enhanced voluntary redundancy packages for all UK crew alongside additional options like part time and seasonal contracts, base transfers and unpaid leave which we expect to result in reducing the number of job losses overall.”

“We would like to reassure customers due to fly from these airports that we are now contacting anyone whose flight is affected with clear advice on their options which include rerouting via alternative airports or receiving a full refund.”

In other easyJet news, the airline concluded its aircraft sale and leaseback programme last week.

It raised £608 million from selling 23 aircraft, all of which will be leased back until the aircraft are 10 years old.  easyJet still owns 50% of its fleet outright giving it additional flexibility to raise funds if required.

The airline has raised £2.4 billion in total, from a mix of new loans, an existing but unused overdraft, the sale and leaseback programme, £419 million from shareholders and £600 million from the UK Government via a soft loan.

Comments (15)

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  • Harry T says:

    It’s a real shame that options from Newcastle will be diminished further. We are not exactly overwhelmed by choice!

    • Mikeact says:

      But if the numbers aren’t there ?

      • lumma says:

        Living in London with loads of friends in the North East, I’ve always been surprised at what they consider a good price from Newcastle. £250 return to Alicante is a great deal to them, so surprised it’s not profitable

    • Darren says:

      Hopefully some routes will be picked up, LBA is not my fav airport so the options have dropped quite a bit. Its all a bit rubbish.

  • Ross says:

    Sad news that Easyjet is winding back services at Newcastle. I have a few return flights booked from Jersey to Newcastle over the next 9 months. What are my options for getting back to Newcastle? The only other flight option is to take 2 flights via London with BA or maybe Southampton if the Eastern/Blue Islands codeshare is active. Does Easyjet have liability to arrange for me to take these other flights together me back home. Please could someone help advise.

    • Richard Alderton says:

      Look out for other operators – maybe with smaller aircraft (Blue Islands, Eastern, Loganair) – picking up the route.

      I’ve just had NCL-GVA cancelled and according to easyJet my options do include a reroute – including travel costs – to/ from another airport if necessary. I would look at easyJet’s flight from MAN and get them to pay your train fare.

  • Vicky says:

    It’s sad news for Southend airport. The destinations had been increasing, Ryanair started flying from there too and it was getting more and more popular. I’ve flown from there 30+ times in the last few years and even agreed to an Easyjet voucher instead of a refund as I thought I’d have no problem using it.

  • Nick says:

    It’s not necessarily the end of ‘non hub’ routes at NCL… easyJet uses a lot of ‘W’ and triangle patterns to fill in their network, and that’s eminently possible here. They already know which bits might be profitable.

    • Rich Alderton says:

      I’ve heard different things. That, like you say, NCL will continue to be served by aircraft based elsewhere. But I’ve also heard that this might only amount to domestic routes.

  • Matt says:

    On the other hand though, Gatwick’s social media announced this morning that Wizz are opening a new base there in October. One whole A321!

  • ADS says:

    With LHR, LGW, LTN, STN and LCY … maybe SEN is just one airport too many for London … especially when demand declines ?

  • Heathrow Flyer says:

    I never felt like any of these three airports were particularly loved by eJ. Jet2 seem to have made a decent stab out of their NCL ops, easyJet seemed very stale with theirs. STN was basically the Go legacy routes, and SEN appeared to be cheap London overspill capacity. Therefore this news doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but it is a shame nonetheless.

  • Erico1875 says:

    Years back when EDI especially, plus GLA and PIK didnt have a great route choice other than doestic and expensive holiday charters, I think a lot of NCLcustomers travelled from Scotland to access cheap flights to the Costas etc.
    As a family of 5 , we regularly did the 110 mile drive and often further on to Manchester and Liverpool and saved upwards of a grand sometimes
    As EDI has expanded beyond recognition(pre Covid), that journey is no longer neccessary

    • Darren says:

      There’ll be movement in the opposite direction from NCL to Edi if the routes are there.

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