Loganair has celebrated the launch of the first flights between London Heathrow and Dundee in 40 years.

The airline announced in April that it would be offering connections to London Heathrow from Derry, Dundee, Orkney and Shetland, in addition to its existing Isle of Man services.

Loganair said today that Derry flights switched from London Stansted on Saturday May 6, while flights to Dundee left from Heathrow for the first time in 40 years on Tuesday. The flights were previously between Dundee and London City airports.

The airline said: “The changes have brought the first-ever link between City of Derry Airport and Heathrow, connected Sumburgh and Heathrow for the first time and restored an air link from Heathrow to Dundee last offered a generation ago.”

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Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles and Heathrow aviation director Joanna Taso attended a “special gate party” at Terminal 2 today as the airline welcomed passengers onboard its 9.45am inaugural flight to Shetland.

Mr Hinkles said: “These routes really take Loganair’s provision of regional connectivity to new heights and underline our credentials as the UK’s largest regional airline. We’re very grateful to the UK Government and BA for their support in securing these slots for domestic connectivity and it was great to see so many happy passengers boarding the new services today.

“Maintaining and improving regional connectivity is one of the main levers of a powerful economy and with these new routes we’re offering business connections into the heart of London from some of the most remote communities in the UK.”

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He added: “Likewise, we’ve opened the door to enhanced tourism for places like Derry, Dundee, Shetland and Orkney, while also giving all our passengers access to the incredible onward connections on offer at Heathrow. It truly is a game-changer for regional commercial aviation.”

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Joanna Taso, aviation director for Heathrow, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the inaugural Heathrow to Sumburgh via Dundee departure. Loganair’s new domestic routes to Dundee and the City of Derry will open up lifeline connectivity and global business opportunities via Heathrow, the UK’s gateway to the world. Their expanded operations are supported by our domestic passenger discount and demonstrate Heathrow’s longstanding commitment to regional connectivity.”