Budget carrier Ryanair yesterday announced plans to add Bucharest and Vilnius routes from London Southend – just hours after rival Wizz Air confirmed its intention to serve those same destinations from the UK airport.

Ryanair and Wizz both plan to fly five times weekly to Romanian capital Bucharest from Southend. Lithuanian capital Vilnius will be served twice weekly by Wizz and three times a week by Ryanair.

The Irish carrier's chief commercial officer David O'Brien states: "Ryanair is pleased to continue its central and eastern European expansion with the launch of two new Southend routes to Bucharest and Vilnius, commencing in November, as part of our extended winter 2019 schedule."

Ryanair had on 21 August announced it would begin flights from Georgia, linking capital Tbilisi with Bergamo and Kutaisi with another Italian destination, Bologna, and with Marseille in France.

Cirium schedules data shows that Ryanair's 279 flights from Southend this month account for 27% of the total from the airport. EasyJet has a 34% share, with 358 flights. Activity at the airport has grown significantly over the past year: the number of flights in August, which exceeds 1,000, is up 13.3% on the same month last year.

Source: Cirium Dashboard