Dundee secures new Loganair flights to London Stansted
A new air service linking Dundee to London is to launch in the spring.
Loganair will operate a twice daily weekday service, and once on a Sunday, between Dundee Airport and London Stansted from 30 March.
It will replace the CityJet service to London City which is due to be withdrawn at the end of March.
Passenger number in Dundee have fallen in recent years, and maintaining a regular route to London was seen as crucial to the airport's future.
The Loganair flights will operate twice daily on weekdays, with flights leaving Dundee at 07:00 and 16:25 and return flights departing Stansted at 09:00 and and 18:25.
There will also be a flight to and from London Stansted every Sunday afternoon, leaving Dundee at 16:25 and Stansted at 18:25.
The new service, operated by a 32-seat Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft, is the result of weeks of negotiation between Dundee Airport operator HIAL, Dundee City Council, Transport Scotland and the airline.
In the meantime, tenders will soon be issued to secure a Public Service Obligation that will ensure the long term future of air services between Dundee and London.
London Stansted is the fourth busiest airport in the UK and the third busiest London airport.
Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "This agreement with Loganair is welcome news for Dundee Airport as it guarantees continuity of service for the Dundee-London route.
"Maintaining this link is crucial to the airport's long term future and this announcement safeguards the service as we move towards establishing a full Public Service Obligation on the route.
"Transport Scotland continues to work hard in partnership with Dundee City Council and HIAL to find ways of maximising the potential of Dundee Airport."
HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: "Stansted is a great choice of airport for Dundee, with a wider choice of airlines and three times the number of destinations on offer at London City.
"Flight times have been designed with business passengers in mind and will allow those travelling for work to reach the City in good time for an early morning meeting, with easy rail access into Liverpool Street, right in the heart of London's financial centre.
"Leisure passengers will also enjoy a greater choice of onward connecting airlines and destinations, while those heading for a London city break will find Stansted well placed for the city's top attractions.
"Efforts are continuing to secure a Public Service Obligation that would ensure the long term future of services between Dundee and London. However, this is a good solution for the city at this time, and we hope that business and leisure passengers will support the service."
Loganair chief operating officer Phil Preston said the company had launched its first ever scheduled service in Dundee back in 1963 and the city has been of "great importance" to the airline ever since.
He added: "We retain a presence in the city and currently employ 23 highly-trained aircrew and engineering staff who work at our base at the airport.
"This route is extremely important to the city of Dundee and we believe our 52 years of aviation experience can help ensure the service to and from Stansted Airport gets off to a strong start."
CityJet announced last month that it was to end its flights from Dundee to London City, citing a drop in passenger numbers.
Loganair withdrew its scheduled services from Dundee to Belfast and Birmingham in 2012, also because of a decline in passenger numbers.