London Southend Airport appoints former No1 Lounges and Leon boss as new CEO

posted on 3rd August 2022 by Eddie Saunders
London Southend Airport appoints former No1 Lounges and Leon boss as new CEO

London Southend Airport announces the appointment of John Upton as its new CEO, effective September 2022.

John brings an impressive track record of growing consumer-facing businesses, delivering exceptional customer service and driving growth.

Most recently, as CEO of No1 Lounges, John led the £40m international airport lounge business (backed by NVM and Santander).

As CEO he put in place an operational structure that enabled the business to double in size, opening new sites across the world, as well as securing new deals with airlines and airports.

Prior to No1 Lounges, John worked as Managing Director of Leon, the fast growing naturally fast food chain, and was a member of the senior team during 13 years at McDonald’s UK.

John Upton said, “I’m thrilled to be joining London Southend Airport and to have the opportunity to work alongside such a fantastic team.

“Their relentless focus on our customers, our airline relationships and working as true partners with our local stakeholders and suppliers is remarkable and really sets us apart from our competitors.

“There’s still so much more to come from London Southend Airport and, powered by our people, I firmly believe that the future will be even brighter.”

Lewis Girdwood, Executive Director – Aviation commented, “We are delighted to welcome John.

“He is a highly experienced and entrepreneurial operator with over 25 years’ commercial and operational experience.

“That experience comes from a variety of senior leadership roles in household name businesses across the consumer, retail and leisure sectors.

“We expect John will help us to make advances in our already award-winning passenger experience, leverage his relationships and experience to help drive new partnerships and bring fresh ideas to support our ongoing community engagement projects.”

John Upton will replace Glyn Jones, who has served as the airport’s CEO for seven years, overseeing a period of immense change.

Glyn was instrumental in developing the airport’s attractive proposition for customers and airlines alike, positioning the airport as London’s fastest growing airport prior to the pandemic, serving over 40 destinations operated by easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air, amongst others.

Glyn has also led the start of the airport’s recovery which reopened to commercial passengers this summer, putting in place a new airport board, and creating new opportunities for the airport by hosting the inaugural Southend City Festival on 2-4 September 2022.

Glyn Jones said, “It has been my privilege to be associated with London Southend for so many years.

“I will be leaving it in very capable hands and am confident that it will fulfil its huge potential in the years to come.

“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the incredible airport staff, the Esken team, and to our supporters in the wider community.

“London Southend is an airport of significant importance to London and the surrounding area, and I look forward to watching it and the communities it serves move forward into an ever more successful future.”

Glyn Jones will stay on for a short period of time to ensure a smooth transition.