Eastern Airways to operate two French regional destinations from Southampton in April.
The airline will commence services to Rennes Bretagne from Thursday 29 April and Nantes Atlantique from Friday 30 April.
The former Flybe routes are the first two French destinations restored by Eastern Airways adding to the carrier's Belfast City, Manchester, Leeds Bradford and Teesside routes already served.
Both routes will be operated by the airline’s 72 seat ATR72-600 aircraft, with the Nantes service flying on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday while Rennes will be flown on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Roger Hage, general manager for Eastern Airways, said: “As the UK’s regional airline, we are delighted to add the first two French connections from Southampton as being Nantes-Atlantique and Rennes-Bretagne, covering the key regions of the Loire Valley and Brittany.
"Given Southampton’s prominence in connecting the UK and France, while also being within an hour of London by rail directly outside the terminal door, it is an exciting development for all.
"With additional new destinations to follow in the coming days and weeks, Eastern Airways is committed to supporting the regions of the UK, connecting people and places, so adding further services at hubs we already serve is another crucial part in the economic recovery and prosperity of the South-Coast hub.”
Operations director at Southampton Airport Steve Szalay said: “This announcement from Eastern Airways is welcome news for the airport and our passengers.
“It is also encouraging that the airline is expanding its route map at the airport during these challenging times and will once again provide those travelling from Southampton and beyond fantastic connectivity to these ever-popular French destinations.”
Eastern Airways’ services will be 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.
The independent UK-based carrier was formed in 1997 and already serves Belfast-City, Manchester, Leeds-Bradford and Teesside from Southampton with Dublin planned.
Eastern Airways also has a codeshare partnership focused on Southampton with Aurigny, Guernsey’s airline, to optimise increased passenger connectivity to the Channel Islands.
The flights are now available to book at www.easternairways.com, with all fares including hold baggage.