BUDGET airline Ryanair has boosted Southend Airport with a raft of new flights just days after easyJet quit.

Ryanair revealed its new destinations this summer in a move which confirms the airport is back in business following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new destinations are Bergerac in France, Marseille also in France, Girona in Spain, Bucharest in Romania and Vilnius in Lithuania.

A Southend Airport spokesman said: “We were pleased to welcome the return of Ryanair flights on July 1 and continue to service routes to these passengers. Currently there are 16 routes available from Ryanair at London Southend Airport with several new destinations announced.”

It comes as easyJet announced it plans to close its base at Southend Airport in a move prompted by the devastating downturn in the travel industry caused by coronavirus.

The airline is looking to close its base at Southend Airport, along with bases at Stansted Airport and Newcastle, with up to 5,000 jobs lost nationwide.

It also comes as customers claim their flights with easyjet from Southend are being cancelled.

One angry passenger tweeted: “Great easyJet has cancelled my flights, but it’s not until seven weeks time. How can they cancel it this early? Does this cement the theory that easyJet is quitting Southend Airport? I hope not.”

Sir David Amess Tory MP for Southend West welcomed the announcement on the new flights. He said: “I very much welcome the news that Ryanair is set to fly to new destinations from Southend Airport after the disappointing announcement by easyJet.

“The aviation industry has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and I do hope this announcement will create extra jobs in Southend.”

The airport also welcomed the move and said talks are ongoing with easyJet about its future at the site.

A spokesman said: “Southend Airport is uniquely positioned to respond to the requirements of safe, socially distanced travel as well as having a direct rail route from Central London.

“As such the airport continues to be a convenient and, as a result of the investment which is already under way, increasingly desirable airport for many passengers, particularly those based in London and the south east.”

An easyJet spokesman said: "

“We are currently reducing some summer flying across all of our network in order to align capacity to demand and therefore have had to make some cancellations. We are not making cancellations because of the consultation which is currently ongoing.

“Customers whose flights are cancelled will be notified and informed of their options which includes transferring to an alternative flight free of charge, receiving a voucher or applying for a refund via a webform on our dedicated Covid Help Hub at easyJet.com."