A LEADING airline company has returned to an Essex airport for the first time in years with new flights to popular holiday hotspots.

Flag carrier British Airways has launched new routes between London Stansted and three popular holiday destinations.

The company, which is the second largest UK-based carrier based on fleet size and passengers carried, is back with flights to Nice, Florence, and Ibiza.

They will be operated by BA CityFlyer on Saturdays and Sundays using Embraer 190 aircraft with Club Europe and Euro Traveller cabins.

The airline also recently announced it will launch a new route to Split in Croatia from September and continue its weekly Sunday charter between Stansted and Calvi this summer in conjunction with Corsican Places.

It will be the first time British Airways has offered scheduled flights from London Stansted since before the global pandemic and it is the fourth London airport to be served by the flag carrier.

Braintree and Witham Times: BIG RETURN: British Airways is back at London Stansted with new routes across EuropeBIG RETURN: British Airways is back at London Stansted with new routes across Europe (Image: N/A)

The first flight took to the skies yesterday to Florence at 7.40am, followed by the Nice departure at 8.35am and the lunchtime service to Ibiza at 3pm.

London Stansted’s commercial director Ciaran Brannigan said: “London Stansted serves more European destinations than any other UK airport.

“These new services to Ibiza, Florence and Nice are strong additions to our route network, which now covers more than 200 destinations across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

“I’m sure these routes will be very popular with passengers from across London, Cambridge and the growing East of England region.

“We look forward to working closely with British Airways to build a strong working relationship and ensure these new flights are a success.”