British low-cost airline easyJet said it would begin operating from London Southend Airport from April 2012, ahead of the London Olympics.
The budget carrier said on Thursday it would base three new Airbus A319 aircraft and around 150 employees at the Stobart Group-owned airport, which is around 40 miles south-east of central London. It expects to deliver around 800,000 passengers through the airport in the first year.
EasyJet, which has signed a 10-year contract with the airport, will operate 70 flights per week from LSA to 10 different European destinations including Barcelona, Faro and Ibiza.
"We expect the new routes to appeal to customers in Essex and London looking for a convenient new departure point for many top European destinations," Catherine Lynn, easyJet's customer and revenue director said.
"We also believe that the European city links will also attract a high number of inbound business and leisure passengers to London next year."
LSA plans to open a dedicated rail station with up to eight services an hour to Stratford - site of the 2012 games - and to London's Liverpool Street station in the coming months.