Published on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Southend Airport sees profits fall despite rapid growth

Southend Airport has retained its position as the fastest growing airport in Europe but it needs to do more to improve profitability, said chief executive Andrew Tinkler today after parent company Stobart Group revealed earnings from its aviation division fell from £400,000 to £100,000 last year.

Passenger numbers grew 38% to over one million and a newly completed terminal extension raised its capacity to five million.

To stimulate further growth, the airport has entered into a new partnership with low-cost carrier Flybe to launch a new airline, Stobart Air, which will use two Flybe aircraft to launch six new routes to Europe.

"We understand the importance of building new routes and new partnerships to help increase passenger numbers in line with our predictions," said Tinkler.

"We aim to grow again in the year ahead and this passenger growth should drive our various revenue streams at the airport. Despite our passenger growth, there is still work to be done to improve profitability with renewed focus on revenue per passenger and controlling costs."

The company said it was continuing to develop plans for Carlisle Lake District Airport, but these remain dogged by ongoing challenges around planning.

"The airport remains a key priority for development by our local authority partners who are aiming to increase inbound international visitor numbers to Cumbria and the Lake District," added Tinkler.



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