Holidaymakers have called for a budget airline to bring its base back to Southend Airport after an increase of flights from the city with its largest winter schedule in four years unveiled.

Southend Airport saw an image of three easyJet planes on stand at the airport yesterday spark calls for the budget airline to bring a base back to the city.

A spokesman shared on Facebook: "Hello, easyJet. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Three easyJet aircraft on stand today at London Southend Airport."

Dozens of sunseekers commented on the post calling on easyJet to bring its base back to Southend after adding a haul of flights to its schedule from the city this year, including the long-anticipated return of flights to Alicante. 

This comes after Caroline Fitzgerald, commercial director at Southend Airport, revealed to BBC Essex at the start of the year that bosses are in talks with easyJet to bring back a base.

She said at the time: "It absolutely feels like the airport's getting back online now, I think this morning’s news is clear indication of recovery.

"In terms of the future easyJet is an active partner of ours and we’ve signed a multi-year deal which is fantastic news for our recovery, we talk to them as well as other airlines around the return of other routes.

"We hope to see an easyJet base back and are in active talks to see that realised as soon as possible."

The former base at Southend Airport was closed in 2020 due to the devastating impact of the Covid pandemic on the travel industry, as all easyJet flights at the airport were cancelled from September that year after nearly a decade of serving dozens of destinations from the seaside city.

Passenger flights only resumed at Southend Airport last summer. Now Southend has unveiled its largest winter schedule in four years with flights to a wide range of popular destinations.