Eastern Airways will operate a service between Southampton and the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar from May 24.
The regional airline will make this major step operating to the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, located in the Southern Mediterranean on the Iberian Peninsula, initially twice weekly on a Monday and Friday.
This will be the first scheduled passenger service to Gibraltar from Southampton with strong maritime, finance and tourism links to the British peninsula.
The service between Southampton and Gibraltar will be operated on the airline’s Embraer 190 e-Jet fleet which includes the type being based at Southampton for the first-time.
Roger Hage, GM for Eastern Airways, said: “This marks a major development in the network Eastern Airways offers as our first regular scheduled service to the Mediterranean peninsula adjoining Spain.
"With a quality array of hotels, beaches, water-sports and heritage, this UK territory offers an exciting short-break destination aside from its role in UK business, notably financial services and maritime. With easy access to the south-coast of Spain also a benefit, working together with HM Government of Gibraltar has enabled this to be the first service to be announced, supporting UK regional airports and their role in direct European connectivity.
"This adds to the French destinations of Nantes and Rennes announced last week and highlights the pivotal role Eastern Airways is playing in growing the UK’s air services.”
Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP, said: “I stated recently that I would be able to announce the addition of another airline with services to Gibraltar and therefore it gives me great pleasure to make this announcement of Eastern Airways today.
"The link with Southampton will open up a new catchment area for Gibraltar. Work by this Government to ensure that the tourism sector recovers and flourishes after this pandemic does not stop. The news will no doubt be welcomed by the local business community and the tourism, retail and hospitality industries. This Government is delivering air services to Gibraltar in an unprecedented manner and is committed to adding further routes and more carriers in due course.”
Steve Szalay, operations director at Southampton Airport, said: “The introduction of Eastern Airway’s first-ever service to Gibraltar is tremendous news and demonstrates the airline’s continued desire to grow its operations at Southampton Airport.
“This is also a new destination for the airport and a positive step forward given the challenging conditions our entire industry continues to face. We look forward to working with Eastern to develop this service further and welcoming the first passengers later this year and indeed the basing of an Eastern Airways’ Embraer 190 aircraft to make this route and others possible.”
Eastern Airways’ services have been carefully reintroduced, aligned to changes in Covid-19 restrictions, with extensive cleaning measures on-board and throughout all aspects of the airport for the safety of all passengers.
Eastern Airways also has a codeshare partnership focused on Southampton with Aurigny, Guernsey’s airline, to optimise increased passenger connectivity to the Channel Islands.
Flights are now available to book at www.easternairways.com