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easyJet dropping Belfast to Southend route

BY MARGARET CANNING

LOW-COST carrier easyJet is dropping its service from Belfast to London Southend from January next year, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The removal of the route, billed as a twice-daily commuter service to London via the Essex seaside town, comes as the airline marks 15 years of flying from Belfast International Airport.

A spokeswoman for easyJet said: "As with all of our bases, we continually review destinations to ensure we offer the right combination of routes to meet our customers' needs. As a result, we have taken the decision to cease operating flights to London Southend from January 6, 2014."

The airline entered a 10-year partnership with Stobart Group, which owns Southend Airport, to start flights to Belfast and other destinations from April 2012. The airport was then rebranded London Southend.

The route was marketed at commuters from Belfast to London who wished to avoid the hectic nature of the bigger London airports. Trains from a new station in Southend would reach central London in an hour.

A report from consumer magazine Which? rated Southend the top airport in Britain, with an average customer satisfaction score of 84%. easyJet this week unveiled two new routes from Belfast International to Jersey and Bordeaux, France, from summer next year.

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