THE first flight between Southend Airport and Aberdeen took to the skies marking a new partnership with Loganair.

The link, described as “opening the gateway to Scotland”, is the latest in a series of new routes running from the rapidly expanding airport.

Basildon Standard:

Celebration - the first flight was welcomed with a water arch salute yesterday

The first flight was welcomed with a water arch salute yesterday.

Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, which runs Southend Airport, said: “London Southend Airport is now the capital’s new gateway to Scotland.

“Today marks the start of a major new network to the Highlands and Islands, thanks to our partnership with award winning airline Loganair.

“Aberdeen is a fantastic addition to London Southend’s extensive route map and we’d like to welcome the passengers aboard this inaugural service to Scotland’s North East.

“With our own railway station just 100 paces from the terminal door, up to six trains an hour into London and our award-winning customer service, we expect these new routes to prove very popular with customers flying to and from the Granite City.”

Customers from Southend can choose from three non-stop flights to Aberdeen each way every weekday.

Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex chamber of commerce, and Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s managing director, were all in attendance for the first service.

The schedule is designed to allow a full working day in Scotland’s oil and gas capital.

Customers can also connect via Loganair’s Aberdeen hub onwards to Orkney and Shetland.

Mr Hinkles said: “Air connectivity with London is incredibly important for the North East of Scotland where there has been significant capacity reduction to other London airports of late.

“We’ve specifically created a schedule which is optimum for those travelling for business during the week, with day-return schedules in addition to our rewarding frequent flyer programme: Clan Loganair.”

Mrs Rossiter added: “I am delighted to see the launch by Loganair of this new route from Southend to Aberdeen. Both areas are highly entrepreneurial and this new service will be of real benefit to businesses in Essex and Aberdeen.

“I wish them well for the future and look forward to trying it myself.”