Flybe franchise partner Eastern Airways is to establish a network of new routes from Teesside international airport.

Destinations include London City airport, Belfast City, Cardiff, Dublin, Southampton and the Isle of Man.

These will operate alongside an existing Aberdeen route and a summer Jersey service by Flybe.

Flights to London City and Southampton will be twice daily, Dublin and Belfast City six times a week, Cardiff five times a week and the Isle of Man for the seasonal TT race weeks.

These complement the up to three times daily Aberdeen service operated for 20 years by Eastern Airways.

Cardiff flights are due to start on February 10, Belfast City, Dublin and Southampton on March 9, London City on April 27 and the Isle of Man on May 30.

Fares lead-in at £69.99 one-way including taxes and charges.

The regional carrier’s commercial and operations general manager Roger Hage said: “This is a significant strategic partnership for both the airline and airport to develop the number of destinations available from Teesside airport.

“The mix of business and leisure travellers in the region will benefit from this major expansion of three based aircraft operating a broad Teesside network of Flybe routes operated by Eastern Airways, including a number of onward connections in the wider Flybe network.”

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen heralded a “new dawn” for the airport with the return of daily flights to London City, reconnecting Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to the capital by air for the first time in 11 years.

He added: “Ever since we brought the airport back into public ownership, one of the biggest and most frequent questions we’ve been asked from businesses and local people has been when will direct flights to London return.

“For too long, we’ve lacked this most basic connection, which is why I’m delighted to announce today’s new services which will bring the Tees Valley even closer to the capital with a twice-daily service.

“Our airport is hugely important to our local economy and the investment that will create the good quality, well-paid jobs we all want to see come to Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool won’t come on a bus, it will come via our airport terminal.

“That’s on top of the raft of other fantastic flights, which represent a massive vote of confidence in our airport and region.

“Eastern Airways shares our vision for fantastic transport connections and has worked with the airport for years. They really understand exactly what our local people and businesses will love.

“This isn’t job done, this is the next stage in our ten-year rescue plan to secure the future of Teesside International.

“In fact, it’s only the first phase of Eastern’s multi-year commitment, with plenty of opportunity to expand and increase flights in the future.”

Kate Willard, partnership development director at the airport’s operator Stobart Group, said: “These major new routes are great news for the airport, its existing passengers and people across Tees Valley. It is very exciting that people can now enjoy the airport’s quick and easy passenger experience to reach even more destinations.

“We believe that there is tremendous opportunity for continued growth at Teesside International and Stobart continues to be committed to its success.”