This lesser-known London airport is tripling its number of passengers

It’s all go at London’s airports as the summer holidays are about to begin. Heathrow has just recorded its busiest year yet, Gatwick is getting 14 new holiday routes, and now one lesser-known airport has announced plans to triple its passenger numbers. London Southend Airport in Southend-on-Sea, Essex wants to increase its capacity to 10 million travellers. 

Currently operating at a capacity of 3.5 million passengers, the flight hub has revealed ambitious plans to become one of the UK’s most popular airports. 

Earlier this year Southend Airport was bought by CAG Holdings, LLC. Now, the company’s chief executive Amit Rikhy has said he wants to give it a significant investment so it can compete with Gatwick and Heathrow. 

‘Why did we invest in Southend? Access to London,’ he recently told the London Aviation Symposium. ‘This airport is the only airport in the London market that has capacity. The large airports in London are running out of capacity; they don’t have slots.’

Rikhy added that CAG was working to put Southend Airport on the map and to improve the travel experience, by adding new technology like state-of-the-art x-ray scanners and self-handling baggage drop. 

The expansion seems to be already underway. In May, easyJet launched six new travel routes from Southend including flights to Turkey, Spain, and north Africa. Where the extra 6.5 million passengers will fit remains unclear. 

Gatwick Airport strikes in July 2024: dates and everything you need to know.

Get the latest and greatest from the Big Smoke – from news and reviews to events and trends. Just follow our Time Out London WhatsApp channel.

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out London newsletter for the best of the city, straight to your inbox