THE UK Government is spending £2.5m to help fund direct flights from Dundee to London for the next two years.
Ministers say the money will keep an important route running and boost economic growth by encouraging tourism and business travel for years to come.
The airline Loganair will continue to run the flights to Dundee, operating from Dundee Airport to London City Airport.
While the news is certain to be welcomed by businesses, green campaigners are likely to question how the spending is consistent with the government’s strict environmental targets.
Robert Courts, Aviation Minister, said: “We’re maintaining these vital transport links, including the hugely popular London to Dundee and the reinstated Newquay to London routes, for people right across the country for tourism and business travel.
“The Government is fully behind UK regional connectivity and strengthening these routes as we build back better from the pandemic.”
UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “It’s great news that flights between London City and Dundee have been secured for another two years.
“As we work to improve transport connectivity across the whole country, this route will continue to allow quick and easy travel between Tayside and the UK capital, supporting economic growth and job creation.”’
Minster for Transport in the Scottish Government, Graeme Dey, strongly backed the move.
He said: “I welcome the extension of this contract which will continue to provide important connectivity for Dundee.
“This service will benefit business travellers and offer visitors a direct route to experience the tourism offering in the city and surrounding area.”
He added: “The Scottish Government is committed to continuing to support the service both through our direct contribution to the cost of the flights and our ongoing subsidy of Dundee Airport.”
And Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said: “Connecting all parts of the UK to London has always been core to our business and we are delighted that the service to Dundee has been extended for another two years.
“Working alongside Loganair and partners at both ends of the route, our ambition is for this service to develop and grow business and tourist travel between both cities.”
The UK government was heavily criticised for its recent announcement that domestic air passenger duty is to be halved from April 2023 to £6.50 per flight.
Green campaigners claimed the move was “wrong-headed” and “incredibly bizarre” in light of the climate emergency and the government’s own environmental targets.