THE chief executive of Southend Airport has “stepped down” from his role as part of a new leadership transition to “support the airport's next phase of growth”.

John Upton, the chief executive officer at Southend Airport, has decided to step down to pursue new opportunities, it was announced this morning. 

It came just a week after easyJet revealed plans to set up a new base at the airport.

He first joined the airport in September 2022, and over his tenure has achieved several significant milestones on its path to post-Covid recovery.

This includes a significant increase in destinations from three to 15, a return to year-round flying, a successful transition of ownership following its acquisition by Carlyle and Cyrus Capital Partners and, most recently, a multi-year deal with airline partner easyJet.

Mr Upton said: "London Southend has successfully navigated its way through a number of challenges over the past few years, but now boasts a solid foundation for future growth.

“I very much look forward to celebrating the airport's continued success and I will, of course, be a frequent flyer.”

Southend Airport bosses say that the leadership transition will support its next phase of growth.

Long-standing director of operations, Marc Taylor, has been appointed as acting chief executive officer, which is effective immediately.

Having joined the airport in 1998, Southend Airport say Marc brings significant experience and an in-depth understanding of London Southend’s operations, and, in his role as acting CEO, will be focused on continuing to drive operational performance and further scaling the business.

Mr Taylor added: “I am honoured to take on this role. My focus will be on continuing to provide travellers with exceptional customer service and building on the airport’s recent momentum.

“London Southend remains a key asset to Southend City and the East Anglia region, and I look forward to working alongside our highly skilled teams as we continue to capitalise on the many opportunities that lie ahead.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank John for his contribution and leadership over the last few years.”