This is a new route, starting on the 29 October. I know Southend is an Essex coastal resort but Southend Airport has a railway station as soon as you get off the plane (hardly any walking), most trains from there to london take 53 minutes and it's £16.30 day return, less with railcards. Of course if you're visiting Essex or the east side of London it's very convenient. Worth a look! The first flight arrives at Southend at about 9AM so you could be in London (city) for just after 10am. The train from Manchester to London at that time is £168 for a single.