A Southend Airport boss has said summer flights to Alicante are an "obvious win" for airlines amid demand for the route to return.

With easyJet not currently able to operate flights to and from Alicante, Southend Airport bosses have previously told the Echo they are in talks with other firms over setting up flights.

The budget airline giant currently has no aircraft based in the Spanish coastal city.

Pre-pandemic, easyJet ran flights 10 times a week, with Ryanair additionally running five weekly flights to Alicante from Southend.

Southend Airport business development director Nigel Mayes said: “We are working tirelessly to get an Alicante service back into our schedules for 2023 and beyond given its proven success.

"This route will ensure excellent airline yields and load factors, underpinned by our low operating costs and route awareness amplification through our social media and marketing activities.”

Mr Mayes believes it’s only a matter of time until Southend gets back to its 2019 heyday.

The most profitable and popular of its previous routes is Alicante, and customers frequently ask when flights to the destination will return.

Pre-pandemic Southend served 15 flights per week to Alicante, had 200,000 passengers and an average load factor of 91 per cent.

Mr Mayes added: “This area is packed full of highly rewarded employees working in and around London, the world’s largest financial centre (in banking, insurance, law etc).

"In 2019, 56 per cent of the total traffic travelling through London Southend to Alicante was from within a 35-mile radius of the airport, according to ASM’s Catchment Analyzer.”

“The traffic was positive year-round with the summer (59 per cent) and winter (41 per cent). Much of the traffic was friends and families visiting second family homes in Alicante, Benidorm and the surrounding areas, enjoying warmer climes year-round.”

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