The UK’s newest airline has officially launched operations with its first ever commercial flight at Southend Airport.

Ascend Airways' freshly painted Boeing 737-800 departed from Southend Airport's jet centre  for a charter flown on behalf of fellow Avia Solutions Group company, Chapman Freeborn Airchartering Limited, on Friday, April 26

The Echo understands this was a football charter flight to and from Humberside Airport. 

According to the new airline's website, it intends to base one of its VIP Boeing 737 business aircraft which can hold 119 passengers at Southend Airport.

Tony Carder, Commercial Director at Ascend Airways said: “We are so pleased to have commenced commercial operations with our first ever charter, operated on behalf of Chapman Freeborn Airchartering.

“This is a landmark day for the company, the start of an exciting journey and we are ready for a busy summer with our damp lease operations commencing in May.

“Today’s achievement is something the entire team of dedicated professionals at Ascend Airways can be very proud of and is the fruition of a lot of hard work over the last 9 months. Everyone has played a huge part in making this a reality.”

With a head office at Bishops Stortford in Essex, Ascend Airways is part of the giant Avia Solutions Group, which is the world's largest aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) provider.

The website states it was established to provide aircraft and crews to meet the requirements of UK-based airlines, tour operators, charter companies and non-governmental organisations.

Neil Smith from Chapman Freeborn Airchartering, said: “It was a great honour and privilege to work with Ascend Airways on their first ever charter flight.

“Our client was very impressed with the service from start to finish and thanks must go to Alastair Willson and the entire team, and especially the crew, at Ascend Airways for a job well done.

“It’s great to have another UK operator gracing our skies and we wish them all the best for the future.”

Southend Airport has been contacted for comment.