Posted on: 31 January 2011 by Mark Howells
Aer Arann is to operate new direct scheduled services between Waterford and Galway and London Southend Airport which, the airline says, opens “Ireland’s new gateway to central London and the English south east”.
From March Aer Arann will fly twice a day into London Southend Airport, which has been developing its access to central London with its new direct rail link offering “speedy and frequent train services”. The airline notes that travelling through the airport, passengers with cabin baggage only can go from the aeroplane to the train in just 10 minutes. There are 8 trains per hour at peak times and the journey time to central London is 50 minutes.
With morning and evening flights between Galway and Waterford and London Southend Airport, Aer Arann is offering a new competitive choice for the day return or short stay business passenger and the longer stay leisure passenger. Both will benefit from a quick and easy transfer from flight to train with none of the time consuming hassle that is unavoidable when travelling through London’s major airports. Aer Arann also emphasises that passengers “will not experience the long take off queues or the delay and hold patterns commonplace on approach to London’s major airports”.
The new services will be the first to be operated into London Southend by an Irish commercial airline and will operate in addition to Aer Arann’s Galway and Waterford to London-Luton services under a revised schedule.
From 27 March, Aer Arann will operate flights twice a day, morning and evening, from both Galway and Waterford to London Southend. Flights will operate twice daily seven days a week from Waterford. Twice daily flights from Galway will operate direct four days per week and on three days a week will operate via Waterford.
Aer Arann will continue to fly four days a week direct from Waterford to London Luton and four days a week from Galway via Waterford to London Luton.
“This is a very significant announcement for Aer Arann and we are delighted to team up with London Southend Airport to provide our customers with new flights between Ireland and the UK and particularly with central London,” commented Aer Arann chief executive, Paul Schütz.
“We are confident there will be strong demand for these services and that our customers will be very pleased when they experience the unique convenience and direct access to central London. Likewise UK customers will have Ireland on their doorstep with direct access to Galway and Waterford and we look forward to the ongoing development of London Southend Airport and its potential to provide passengers from Ireland with excellent onward connections to Europe,” Schütz added.
Stobart Air (owner of London Southend Airport and a division of Stobart Group) managing director, Alastair Welch, remarked, “This is a significant milestone in London Southend Airport’s development – the first new daily passenger service since Stobart Group took ownership two years ago. It also marks the completion of phase one of our transformation of the airport, heralding exciting and busy times ahead.
“2011 is a very big year for London Southend, with a new airport railway station now complete and gearing up to be fully operational in the coming weeks, a new control tower also now ready, construction of a new passenger terminal under way and work on the runway extension and new airport hotel due to start later this year,” noted Welch. “This is the year London Southend Airport goes on the international air travel map as a fast, friendly and hassle-free new gateway to London. With the new railway station soon to be fully operational, we will be about 50 minutes by train from Liverpool Street, right in the heart of the City of London.”
Photo shows Aer Arann cabin crew Kerry Crozier and Sarah Baggott celebrating the launch of the new services.