Newcastle is gaining a new air link with London City airport from the new year.

Eastern Airways, a franchise partner of Flybe, is to add a morning and evening peak flights from January 7

The new service, with a 70-minute flight time each way, will be offered as an alternative to an existing British Airways connection to Heathrow from the north-east.

Flights are on sale for winter until March 29 with fares starting at £79.99 one way. Summer 2019 flights will be on sale in the coming week.

Eastern Airways commercial and operations general manager Roger Hage said: “We have collaborated with the key stakeholders at both Newcastle and London City airports to launch this new direct central London air service on behalf of Flybe, adding to their expanding London City network and to the Aberdeen–London City service we already operate.

“This is part of our strategic business alignment to serving core regional business hubs and supports our belief of it being vital that major UK cities have direct fast convenient air links between the regions and city of London, especially given the current London Heathrow capacity restrictions.”

Newcastle airport chief executive Nick Jones added: “This new service will offer a direct link from the region right into the heart of London. With 11 flights per week across six days we hope that this will be very well received in both the business and leisure communities.”

London City airport aviation director Peter Downes said: “As London’s most central airport, London City’s convenience contributes to its vital role in connecting UK regions with the capital. We are delighted to add Newcastle to the growing number of domestic destinations in our network.”