NEW routes from Southampton to France have been launched this summer.

Southampton Airport has welcomed two new Southern France flights launched by airline Flybe.

The summer flights to Avignon and Toulon took off for the first time at the weekend.

A 78-seater Bombardier Q400 will be used for the flights, which is the quietest turboprop flying today and has 30 per cent lower emissions than similar capacity jet aircraft.

Dave Pflieger, Flybe’s CEO said: “We’re excited to be flying from Southampton with the start of flights to Belfast, as well as seasonal flights to Avignon and Toulon in France.

“Southampton represents Flybe’s commitment towards connecting regions and people with the places that matter most to them. Southampton will be an important airport for Flybe.”

It comes as Flybe introduces daily flights to Belfast City on Thursday.

Chris Tibbett, head of airline relations at Southampton Airport, said: “It was great to see these French regional routes take to the skies this weekend, giving holidaymakers in Hampshire a hassle-free way to reach beautiful southern France, whether for the stunning Mediterranean coastline around Toulon or for the colourful lavender fields of Avignon.

"With the promise of a crisp glass of Côtes de Provence in the sunshine just a short flight away, we expect flights to be popular this summer.

“We are also thrilled to see further daily services introduced to Belfast City that will deliver greater choice and convenience for those looking to travel to Northern Ireland’s vibrant capital.”

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