SOUTHEND Airport has warned further job losses are inevitable if it continues to be left “fighting for survival with one arm tied behind its back”. 

The warning comes as the number of routes available to book from the airport appears to have been cut to just two.

Airport bosses insist there are actually seven destinations passengers can fly to, but only two routes - Mallorca and Alicante - could be booked yesterday. 

The flights elsewhere have dried up as easyJet pulled out of the airport this summer and a new route to Norway has been paused.

An airport spokesman said it has been “badly hit” by the Government’s 14-day quarantine scheme in place for key UK holiday destinations.

The spokesman added: “No industry-specific support has been provided. Scottish airports receive 100 per cent business rates relief whilst English airports receive no such benefit. 

“Unless aviation specific support is provided, there will be further significant job losses, both in the industry itself and in the associated supply chain.

“We have already prepared for the anticipated decline in passenger operations over the winter months. We have also maintained our cargo operations which continue to safeguard supply chains and local employment. 

“However, what is needed now is clear and unambiguous Government support for a safe return to flying, alongside the efforts airports, airlines and ground handlers have made.

“Without such support, an industry which was, until recently, responsible for employing almost one million people in the UK will be fighting for survival with one arm tied behind its back.”

Mark Flewitt, Tory councillor of the St Laurence ward, said: “When I attended the latest easyJet protest, it felt like the closure of the airport.

“It feels like the airport is suffering a slow and painful death. The airport needs to communicate with the council and the public about their situation.

“Councillors will be able to lobby easyJet for some sort of return if that’s what they want us to do. Passenger flights have been decimated. The airport needs to be honest with the public.”

The news comes as a new route to Norway was cancelled earlier this month, just a matter of weeks after being launched.

The new route to Bergen with airline Wideroe has been put on hold.

The final Easyjet flight left Southend on August 31.

Kevin Robinson, councillor in charge of business, culture, and tourism, added: “We are confident that the airport will adapt and innovate to bounce back from these challenges as a key driver of economic recovery and growth in the town.”