London Southend Airport and Stobart Air are seeking to capitalise on delays experienced by customers at Gatwick and Heathrow with a free flights offer.
The airport is offering flights for the first 1,000 passengers who suffer delays of 30 minutes or more at London’s two largest airports, flying to Manchester, Glasgow or Dublin, from August 14.
The offer is for tickets on new routes operated by Stobart Air to those three destinations which start from October 29.
London Southend said the seats are being given away “to demonstrate the benefits of avoiding the packed terminals at London’s two biggest airports by using London Southend Airport and also celebrate the start of new domestic flights from the airport”.
The offer comes as CAA figures show in the first five months of 2017, more than 11 million passengers, or about 75,000 per day, were delayed travelling from Heathrow and Gatwick.
London Southend said it has the potential to expand, unlike its rivals. It has the potential to accommodate 10 million passengers a year but currently has just 1.2 million.
Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, owners of London Southend Airport, 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.
“We have been rated best airport in the UK three years in a row by Which? and it is our core customer promise that we provide a better, quicker, more pleasurable way to travel compared to the stressful and overwhelmed larger airports.
“An increasing number of people are discovering the benefits of London Southend Airport and are enjoying our calm, friendly and easy terminal; we look forward to welcoming many more.”