A HOST of new routes will be flying from Southend Airport next year.

Flybe has announced six new routes to top destinations from Southend which will launch at the end of March.

Once the routes launch, Flybe will have rebranded as Virgin Connect after being bought out by a consortium including Southend Airport owners, Stobart Air.

Virgin Connect will have a new base from Southend Airport to run the fligths.

New routes include Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Isle of Man and Jersey.

Seats are now available to book.

Connect Airways will also maintain four Flybe routes from Southend Airport - to Caen, Groningen, Newquay and Rennes.

Mark Anderson, Connect Airways’ CEO, said: “With the planned departure from the fleet of the larger E195 jets, we have further streamlined our summer programme.

“This has included removing a number of unprofitable routes and adjusting the timings of flights to better accommodate those travelling for business, visiting friends and families or making onward connections.

“In balancing our customers’ needs, we’ve also added some flights from a new operating base at Southend.

“We believe this will give our customers a more consistent and improved service at the times and on the days of the week they most want to travel – and that also allows the business to grow profitably in the longer term.

“It strengthens Flybe’s commitment to providing unparalleled connectivity from regional airports to destinations across the UK, Europe and beyond. By increasing our presence at Southend our customers will also, for the first-time next summer, benefit from Flybe’s ability to create a truly customer-centric regional network.”

In January this year, it was revealed the owners of Southend Airport played a vital role in saving Flybe - alongside Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic. It was put up for sale in November


A consortium including Stobart Air, Virgin Atlantic and Cyprus Capital purchased Flybe after it was put up for sale in November 2018.