London Southend Airport has come out with its 6th new route announcement for 2023 and this time it is Grenoble.
Grenoble marks the 9th route for London Southend Airport coming out of the pandemic and the 8th route to be offered by easyJet.
This new announcement also comes right off the back of the airport’s latest announcement for flights to Alicante starting this winter which will be the airport’s 3rd year round route.
Other routes the airport has seen add to its now quickly expanding route network this year include flights to Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Burgas.
From what we have seen this year, it seems the airport is quickly picking up the pace with returning to its peak 40+ routes it saw in 2019.
Grenoble – all the details
Flights to Grenoble are due to start on the 14th January 2024 and will run once a week on Sunday’s only, however only until the 25th February. This means only 7 flights are expected to run.
The airport has actually faced a little bit of criticism for this, however there is potentially good reason behind this short lived operation.
Grenoble is an entirely new route for Southend having never been available in the past and with the timing for the launch and end of the route being at the time of the peak ski season, it seems the airport is hoping to capture the most demand to make the route a success.
All flights will be operated by easyJet Europe and Airbus A320 family aircraft will be utilised (subject to demand). As for flight times, flight U24687 will leave Southend at 07:45am local time and land in Grenoble at 10:15am local time.
The return flight (U24688) will then leave Grenoble at 10:55am local time and arrive back at Southend at 11:35am.
When flights were announced, people became curious of how SEN would be able to facilitate a 7:45am departure without no easyJet base at Southend. This is because the route will be operated as part of a W-rotation.
What is meant by a W-rotation
Southend Airport is no stranger to W-rotations these days, so what is such a thing?
A W-rotation in short is where an aircraft will complete 2 routes in one go without the need to return to its original base in between each route it is completing.
For example this is currently seen at Southend with the Faro and Amsterdam routes. In this case, a Faro based aircraft will fly the Faro to Southend route, get turned around, fly to Amsterdam and then back to Southend, before heading back to Faro.
Now referring back to Grenoble, the rotation will work as follows: A Paris based aircraft will fly an early morning flight from Paris CDG to Southend landing at SEN by 7:05am.
Following a short turnaround, the aircraft will then complete the Grenoble sector according to the flight times as stated, before returning back to Paris from Southend at 12:10pm.
Praise from Southend Airport and easyJet
Following the announcement of flights to Grenoble, Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager said, “We are really please to be offering more choice and great value for our customers with the launch of another route from London Southend Airport, to Grenoble”.
Ali added, “We know this will be popular with those thinking about winter holidays – whether that’s for a winter sports break or to enjoy the picturesque scenery of the Alps and we cant wait to welcome customers onboard”.
John Upton, London Southend Airport CEO was also present to comment, saying, “The momentum for and returning routes from London Southend is on the up.
He added, “Ski breaks to the cultural capital of the French Alps is a great opportunity for London Southend and we are delighted to serve the demand in our 8.2 million catchment from London east and the southeast of England connecting passengers that live within one hour of London Southend”.
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