AN INDEPENDENT airline is aiming to take to the skies and launch a base at Southend Airport, in the aim of replacing easyJet within two years.

The ambitious CEO of Essex based Atmosphere Airline Jason Unsworth hopes to introduce four aircraft at Southend’s airport by 2023, he revealed to the Echo.

The airlines boss hopes to launch one plane this summer from Southend this summer with regular flights to Portugal.

Mr Unsworth said: “It would be great if we could replace easyJet.

“Southend Airport is a great place to fly and trade from, there is a lot of demand and great train links to London.


“If it all goes well, we are looking at a base in two years time.

“We are confident of having the one aircraft this summer, but the destination depends on the travel restrictions.

“We’re looking at Portugal, as that’s on the green list from the Government.”

The firm doesn’t own any aircrafts yet, but plans to lease planes from Euro Atlantic and Thai Airways.

The planes will then be covered in the white, black, gold Atmosphere Airline livery.

easyJet pulled out of Southend Airport in the summer of 2020, with 30 jobs lost.

Staff protests followed the closure in August.

Southend Council bosses have regularly insisted easyJet should return.

Mr Unsworth added: “We’ve been eyeing this up for a few years, but investors pulled out previously. That’s what held us up.

“Now we feel like this is the right time as we come out of the Covid pandemic.

“It would be ideal if we could have long haul from a Stansted base, and short haul destinations from a Southend base.”

The airline will be launching long haul flights from Manchester airport and Stansted.

Talks with Stobart Air, who own Southend Airport, and Glyn Jones, the airport CEO, will begin imminently, the Echo understands.

Atmosphere Airline will be backed financially by two investors, alongside a French businessman.

Southend Airport was contacted for comment.