Southend Airport, Essex, will be creating more than 1000 jobs by July 2012. It has been granted permission to extend its runway to become an alternative to Stansted and London City airports to ease congestion in time for the 2012 London Olympics. It raises speculation that the airport, owned by trucking group Eddie Stobart, could become another significant site for passengers flying from and to London, with the potential for an estimated 2m passengers by 2020. It is likely to attract low cost airlines as it avoids busy London flight paths and saves 20 minutes on European journeys. No figures were given for how many are currently employed by the company.