ONE of the biggest airlines in Europe has landed its first flight at Southend Airport.

Ryanair officially opened its new base at the airport this morning after investing $300 million into the airport.

The airline is set to have 18 flights a day leave and arrive at the airport, around 63 per week.

There are 14 new routes, including Alicante, Barcelona Reus, Bilbao, Brest, Copenhagen, Corfu, Cluj, Dublin, Faro, Kosice, Malaga, Milan Bergamo, Palma and Venice.

It is set to deliver more than one million customers each year and support 750 on-site jobs at the airport, with the aim of expanding to 2.5 million passengers in the future.

Travellers can now book their holidays as far out as March 2020, enjoying even lower fares and Ryanair’s 2019 customer care improvements, including:

Ryanair’s Chiara Ravara said “We’re pleased to open our new London Southend base, with 3 based aircraft (an investment of £300m), and kick off 14 new routes, which will deliver 1m customers p.a. and support 750 jobs at London Southend Airport this year.

“To celebrate, we are releasing seats for sale from just 12.99, for travel until the end of May, which are available for booking until midnight Friday”

Glyn Jones, CEO of Stobart Aviation, who own Southend Airport, said “We are delighted to welcome the first Ryanair flight to London Southend Airport today.

“Ryanair passengers can now fly to 14 new routes and enjoy a quick and easy airport with direct trains to London Liverpool Street in 51 minutes.

“This is an exciting time for London Southend Airport. We welcomed 1.5million passengers last year. With the arrival of Ryanair, we will be welcoming over 2.5 million.

“We are growing fast. We believe we can maintain this momentum with more airlines recognising that we represent an attracting destination for growth in London.”