Southampton airport has become a gateway to the world’s largest cities under a new long haul flight partnership between Flybe and Dutch airline KLM.

The agreement will open up single ticket travel to 150 designations in the Far East, Africa and Americas through a connection at Amsterdam’s award-winning Schiphol Airport.

Passengers arriving in Amsterdam on Flybe aircraft from Southampton will wait less than two hours to change onto KLM flights to destinations such as Rio De Janeiro, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, New York, pictured, and Johannesburg.

The new routes, priced competitively with direct flights from Heathrow, are expected to attract strong interest from business travellers and international students.

Under the “code-share agreement” KLM will be offering three daily flights on the Southampton- Amsterdam route, using Flybe’s Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 and Embraer E-195 aircraft.

Flybe will benefit from the extra traffic generated by KLM sales and could lay on even more frequent flights to Amsterdam in the future.

Southampton Airport managing director Dave Lees said: “This is fantastic news for the airport and the region. By code sharing Flybe and KLM are providing a competitively priced service that will see passengers starting and ending their journey here at their local airport with all the convenience that brings.

“They can now fly onward to 150 destinations throughout the world, without collecting luggage, checking in again and paying for separate flights.

“This announcement will also be particularly important for businesses in the region trading with international markets in areas such as China, India, Asia and South Africa.”

Flights can be booked through the KLM website.

DESTINATIONS that can be reached with a connection of less than two hours at Amsterdam
• Bangkok
• Mumbai
• Boston
• Dallas
• Doha
• Detroit
• Rio De Janeiro
• Havana
• Hong Kong
• Houston
• Seoul
• New York
• Johannesburg
• Kigali (Rwanda)
• Khartoum (Sudan)
• Minneapolis
• Nairobi (Kenya)
• Tokyo
• Portland
• Beijing
• Shanghai
• Seattle
• Tbilisi (Georgia)
• Toronto