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Airlines announce new routes

The first domestic services to be run by Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic are among a number of new routes being flown by UK and overseas carriers from Britain in 2013.

Among the routes announced is travel from Manston Airport in Kent with KLM/Air France.

Virgin Atlantic Credit: PA Images

Virgin will be operating a total of 24 domestic flights a day out of Heathrow starting from the beginning of April. The airline will be flying six daily returns to Edinburgh as well as three daily returns to Aberdeen and to Manchester.

Also, from April, a third daily flight between Heathrow and Atlanta, USA, will be operated by American carrier Delta - the airline waiting for regulatory clearance to take a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic.

British Airways Credit: PA Images

From the end of March, British Airways will begin flying from Gatwick to Colombo in Sri Lanka and will also start Gatwick services to the Canary Islands' destinations of Lanzarote and Tenerife.

BA will also begin flights between Heathrow and Alicante in Spain and Palma in Majorca in Spring 2013.

From April 2, KLM/Air France will start twice-daily services between Manston airport in Kent and Amsterdam's Schipol airport.

The announcement, made in November 2012, was greeted enthusiastically by the area's two Conservative MPs Sir Roger Gale (Thanet North) and Laura Sandys (Thanet South).

"This move really does connect Kent with the rest of the world," said Sir Roger, while Ms Sandys described the new route as making the area "a more attractive place to invest".

Air travellers heading for the Far East from Cardiff will be able to get to Fukuoka when KLM starts flights to the Japanese city, via Amsterdam, in the Spring.

The three-times-a-week service will be the third KLM operates to Japan from Cardiff after Tokyo and Osaka.

Among new easyJet routes in 2013 is Manchester to Moscow, with the low-fare carrier starting four-flights-a-week services on March 28.

The airline, which is also starting Gatwick-Moscow services in 2013, hopes to carry around 60,000 passengers in the first year of Manchester-Moscow flights.

EasyJet is also starting, from June 20, thrice-weekly services between Southend in Essex and Newquay in Cornwall.

Just a few days later, on July 4, easyJet starts three-times-a-week flights between Liverpool and Newquay.

Then, on July 5, easyJet commences a twice-weekly service between Liverpool and the French city of Nantes.