Budget airline Jet2 has announced plans to establish a base at East Midlands, creating hundreds of new jobs and bringing an estimated 130,000 extra passengers to the airport.
The airline, recently applauded for its commitment to Newcastle Airport, will house one silver aircraft at East Midlands, with a view to building a larger fleet in the future. The lone Boeing 757 is expected to operate nine flights a week.
Jet2 has enjoyed an upwelling of funds, forging new routes at three airports across the UK – Leeds-Bradford, Newcastle and now East Midlands.
Airport officials were delighted with the news, which could help develop the region as a whole, generating admin jobs in Leicester and Derby, and control positions at the airport itself.
The airport director, Penny Coates, explained how the news "is a positive indicator for the future" and puts the airport "in a strong position".
East Midlands survived the bank holiday weekend relatively unscathed, despite a rash of strikes affecting many UK airports.
A nearby boat show, an annual event hosted by the Inland Waterways Association, caused minor delays for tourists travelling from Nottingham, but the airport reported no further problems.
Jet2’s new base will boost the airport’s summer holiday roster by seven “fantastic scorching sun destinations,” to quote the airline.
Flights to the Canary Islands, Dalaman in Turkey, Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt and Tenerife in Spain will commence in May 2010.