Passengers rose 37% to 839,000 in the six months to August, but Easyjet recently added a fourth plane, while Ryanair will base three aircraft at the airport from next year.
“We are now offering routes to an additional 11 destinations and expect to welcome circa 2.5 million passengers in 2019,” the group said alongside half-year numbers that showed sales overall rose by 21% to £151.3mln.
Underlying profits rose to £17mln from £15.4mln, through on a statutory basis losses rose to £17.5mln from £11.9mln.
Aviation, which includes Southend, saw revenues rise by 16% to £103mln, but there was a loss of £2.7mln.
Biomass increased underlying profits by 89% to £8.7mln though rails and civil engineering posted a loss of £4.8mln and a new commercial team has been appointed.
During the period, Stobart also had to deal with a boardroom bust-up.
Chairman Iain Ferguson narrowly survived a vote to remove him at the AGM and has agreed to step down by the time of next year’s annual meeting.
A dispute with former chief executive Andrew Tinkler is set to go to court next month.
Warwick Brady, Stobart's chief executive, said: “We have remained focused on operational progress in our Aviation and Energy divisions, which have both performed well in the period.”