New private jet terminal opens in London Southend
London, the European city seeing the highest business jet traffic, with over 214 flights on average per day, now has yet another private jet terminal as a new facility opens as the capital's Southend Airport.
Owned and operated by the FTSE-traded Stobart Group, London's Southend Airport, located to East of the center, has for a long time struggled to compete in the private aviation space, getting a less than 1% market share in London's business jet flight traffic. With this new terminal, Stobart hopes to grow its flow to 5,000 private jet flights by 2022, which would represent a 700% increase.
According to Stephen Grimes, managing director of the Stobart Jet Centre, their main advantages lie in being able to offer 24-hour availability and imposing no restriction on slots, operating outside of London's airspace. In total, there are currently 14 airports in London welcoming private jets with Luton and Farnborough collectively controlling over 60% of the business jet market in London.
"Convenience, speed and comfort are absolutely vital to the business and private aviation market" explains Grimes. "We are confident that London Southend Airport will become a hassle-free alternative to London's current, crowded private aviation terminals."
Located 42 miles from London's West End, the Southend Airport mostly aims to compete for market share amongst business travelers headed to the City or Canary Wharf given its eastern position. Airport officials say, the city could be reached in nearly 10 minutes by helicopter from the airfield.
One of 14 airports competing to welcome premium customers, the Southend airport will face heavy competition in its effort to develop from up and coming private jet destinations such as Biggin Hill and RAF Northolt, an airfield operated by the UK military, located a mere 35 minutes by car from central London.