Loganair is switching an Isle of Man air link from London City airport to Heathrow.

The change will connect the island with the capital’s main hub from December 1.

The Scottish regional carrier had previously taken over the route between the Isle of Man and London City from British Airways on an interim basis in September.

It will be the first time the airline has operated a permanent scheduled service to Heathrow.

The move follows moves by Loganair, supported by the Isle of Man government, to secure runway slots at Heathrow for the service.

A 49-seat Embraer 145 regional jet will be deployed on the route with fares starting at £69.99 one way.  Saturday flights will be introduced from December 19.

Loganair already serves Liverpool and Manchester from the Isle of Man and has maintained the island’s passenger air services following the demise of Flybe and the introduction of Covid-19 lockdowns in March.

The airline employs pilots and cabin crew based in the Isle of Man, and contracts the maintenance of its aircraft to local company M&A Technical Services, which is based at Ronaldsway.

Chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “We are heartened to be able to restore the Isle of Man’s connectivity to London Heathrow, building upon our record of delivering the island’s essential passenger air services through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It represents an excellent springboard for future developments as and when circumstances allow, and this will include creation of local employment in the Isle of Man to fly Loganair’s services.”

Isle of Man infrastructure minister Tim Baker said: ‘Restoring the Heathrow route has been a long-term aspiration for the Isle of Man government, which is pleased to be working with Loganair to make it happen.

“Establishing the connection at this stage will enable Island residents and businesses to look forward with confidence and will also lead to important employment opportunities locally.”