Airline firm Flybe is to start daily passenger flights from Kent International Airport to Edinburgh, it has been announced.
The new service from the Manston site is the first daily route since airline EUjet collapsed in 2005.
Airport owners Infratil said that the new flights could increase projected passenger numbers from 50,000 in 2010 to more than half a million by 2014.
Flybe’s new route will operate between 27 May to 30 October.
Mike Rutter, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer says: “We’re delighted to be adding this new service to the South East and also being the first carrier to offer Kent travellers a scheduled service out of Kent International.
“We expect our new route to be popular both with business travellers and with those planning their holidays or weekends away and wanting their budgets to go as far as possible.”
Matt Clarke, airport chief executive, said: “I’m sure this route will be hugely popular with people in Kent because Edinburgh is such a great place to visit.”
The 80-minute service will be provided by a 78- seated Bombardier Q-400 turboprop aircraft.
Managing Director of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar said: “We’re excited that Flybe has picked up on the demand to create a link between Scotland’s Capital and the South of England.”
In 2009 the airport received approval to extend operating hours at the Manston site, allowing planes to take off or land between 0600 until 2330.