Aviation and energy infrastructure group Stobart today attempted to reassure investors that Southend Airport could survive EasyJet's decision to pull out due to the Covid 19 hit to passenger numbers.
Stobart, currently in the process of cutting up to 90 jobs at the airport, said London Southend Airport was still seeing revenues from its logistics operations and passenger flights that resumed in June. Wizz Air still flies from the airport.
However, it also said passenger activity had been "modest" since reopening.
It said it was also in talks with other low-cost carriers about putting on routes cheaply from the airport.
Stobart said it had held "positive discussions" over the post-winter flying schedule from April.
The company raised £100 million in June and said its tight control on costs since then had enabled it to keep £119 million of cash and bank facilities available. It warned today that its Irish regional airline Stobart Air was operating "below the scenarios set out at the time of capital raise". This was due to the tough quarantines in operation in the country.
At the time of the capital raise, Stobart said it would sell its diverse operations to focus on Southend airport.
It sold its civil engineering and rail businesses for less than £10 million and today said it was still trying to offload its energy-from-waste arm and Irish airline Stobart Air.
Talks over Stobart Air are ongoing, it said. Aircraft lessor Falko has been named as one of the interested parties.
The company's biomass fuel business, which turns wood into fuel, has suffered from disruption to the construction industry and the shutdowns of recycling dumps during the early stages of the pandemic. That has hit the money it makes charging suppliers looking to dispose of their waste wood. The group said it was reviewing its strategic options to raise money from the business.
It continued its stance of giving no forward guidance on its finances due to the uncertainty wrought by the pandemic.
Warwick Brady, chief executive, said: "The group is executing the strategy it set out at the time of the capital raise and is employing strict financial discipline to safeguard both the operational capability and the value of its core assets to ensure it will be positioned to respond to a recovery in demand."