International Airport Review - John Upton

As part of International Airport Review’s exclusive CEO series, John Upton, CEO of London Southend Airport discussed his career, his key focus areas for the future and how they are working to deliver a high-quality airport experience for both passengers and staff.

Right now, all our activity is focused on recovery and our long-term growth. 

A lot of the airports around us have congested airspace and terminals, are expensive, have slow taxi and turnaround times with only limited available slots. We are up to 50-75% cheaper than a number of our local London neighbours in terms of operating costs. 

We are also considerably quicker in terms of turn around and taxiing times. We have in-house handling, so we are a one-stop-shop for airline partners. We are naturally close to Europe, so our airline partners don’t have to navigate through the ‘spaghetti junction’ of airspace over London when they fly with us. 

Given this, we are a natural place for growth for airlines, with our low-cost base, an efficient operation and in close proximity to London, only 50 minutes away by train. 

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