KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is to return to Southampton from August 31 with a new daily service between the south coast airport and Amsterdam.

Flights will be operated by KLM Cityhopper, using an 88-seat Embraer 175 aircraft – and it will offer international connections from Amsterdam Schiphol.

The Dutch flag carrier previously operated the route, but it was suspended in March 2019.

Separately to the addition of Southampton, KLM expects to return to its pre-Covid network by August 3 – which includes flights from 17 UK airports.

Benedicte Duval, general manager for Air France KLM in the UK & Ireland, said: “After what has been a particularly challenging period, we’re delighted to be in a position to relaunch our KLM service from Southampton.

“I firmly believe offering more choice and better connectivity is positive for the travelling public and I am confident that the new route will be well received by the tourism and business communities throughout the South of England”

“Safety is a prerequisite for KLM as we gradually resume travel and as we all adapt to this new environment, I can assure you that all KLM staff, both on the ground and on board, are truly committed to guaranteeing our passengers the highest levels of health & safety.”

Derek Provan, chief executive of Southampton Airport owner AGS Airports, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome KLM back to Southampton, to restore the hugely popular service to Amsterdam.  We know from passenger feedback that this route is very much in demand.

“This is a really important step in restoring connectivity to Europe, although we know that it will take a very long time to build SOU back up to where it was following the loss of Flybe and the Covid pandemic.”