NEW routes linking Scotland with the heart of London have been unveiled by the airline Flybe.
The connections from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness to London City Airport take off from today and represent a “major expansion”, the operator said.
Under the move, Flybe will offer up to four flights a day from Scotland’s capital, while Inverness and Aberdeen will see up to two flights a day.
First Minister Alex Salmond, who attended a launch event in London, said it was an “exciting” time for Scottish aviation.
He said: “We have long stressed the economic benefits of improving Scotland’s connectivity, so these services will no doubt be welcomed by companies in the central belt, the north east and the Highlands who are looking to do business in London and further afield.
“The flights will also provide a real boost for our tourism industry, making it easier for visitors to travel north and get a taste of the wonderful experiences on offer in and around all three cities.”
He went on: “Of course, we could attract more flights to Scotland by cutting rates of Air Passenger Duty, something that we don’t currently have the power to do but which has wide support in the aviation industry.
“We congratulate all three of our airports and Flybe on this achievement, and we will continue to support efforts to grow the number of routes to and from Scotland in the future.”
Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad said: “We are delighted to be launching our new routes from London City Airport, connecting people in the rest of the UK and Ireland straight into the heart of the capital.”