Eastern Airways has held off starting new routes from Southampton airport while coronavirus restrictions peak.

The regional carrier confirmed that a Southampton-Dublin link is among seven new routes planned as it seeks to replace a proportion of services lost with the failure of Flybe.

The start date of flights to the Irish capital will be confirmed “in due course” along with the additional routes “due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions affecting travel in the UK and Ireland”. 

The airline will continue with the launch of daily services from Southampton to Belfast City on Monday.

This follows new routes introduced last week from the south coast airport to Manchester, Newcastle and Teesside, complementing a long-standing Leeds Bradford connection.

Aberdeen is due to be added on April 27, bringing the Southampton network to seven destinations prior to any new announcements.

Eastern Airways will base up to five aircraft at Southampton as part of expansion plans aimed at replacing UK regional connectivity following the demise of Flybe.

Having also recently added three aircraft at Teesside airport with a further route addition to add there this summer, the airline hopes to ensure major economic centres are connected “to protect employment and prosperity”. 

A short-term reduced schedule from March 23 to April 17 has been implemented by the Humberside airport-based airline given the current Covid-19 restrictions. 

Commercial and operations general manager Roger Hage said: “Given the current Covid-19 reductions in travel, we have held back from announcing a number of route start dates at both Southampton and Belfast City as determining these dates isn’t feasible in the immediacy.

“We can confirm Southampton-Dublin is among seven routes we have held off announcing but once there is a clear view when services will return to normal, we will confirm all routes and start dates to help ensure regional connectivity around the UK is expanded, especially given this will be paramount to the UK’s economic recovery.”

Southampton airport general manager Neil Garwood added: “Whilst we are currently in a very difficult time for aviation and travel, we know that we will return in time to normal service and when we do we are grateful and pleased that our growing partnership with Eastern Airways means we can deliver excellent regional connectivity, so vital to life in the UK.”