In a sort of reconciliatory move Southend Airport is offering free flights to disgruntled passengers whose flights from London’s two largest airports are delayed.
The first thousand passengers flying to Manchester, Dublin and Glasgow who get delayed by half an hour at Heathrow or Gatwick will be offered a free return flight from August 14.
Passengers must be on a flight from Gatwick or Heathrow to one of those destinations between 14 August and 30 September and the flight must be delayed by 30 minutes in order to qualify for the deal.
The move comes as Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) figures show 21 per cent of passengers at Heathrow were delayed by more than 15 minutes in the first five months of 2017 and from Gatwick, 26 per cent.
The offer is to publicise Southend Airport’s links to the north of England, but tickets won’t be available until the end of October.
Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation , responsible for both Southend Airport and Stobart Air, said: “Heathrow and Gatwick keep celebrating rising passenger numbers but what is good for their bottom line, makes for a bad travel experience for tens of thousands of passengers every day.”
Southend Airport currently sees 1.2 million passengers through its doors every year but has the potential to accommodate 10 million passengers.