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Trade mission joins Moscow flight

Along with the first passengers flying to Moscow for a city break, there are also representatives from a dozen companies onboard who are taking part in a trade mission to the Russian capital.

easyJet Chief Executive, Carolyn McCall, a graduate of Kent University in Canterbury, told ITV News why the route is important to her company and to the UK balance sheet.

This is a historic day for easyJet, not only are we launching flights between London Gatwick and Moscow but it is also the first day our shares are traded on the FTSE 100. Russia is the world’s largest country with a growing economy. Offering frequent and affordable flights enables easyJet to play a key role to aid trade links between the two countries.

I am pleased to have around a dozen UK companies travelling with us today aiming to start to build relationships in Russia. These companies are spread across Britain and represent many sectors including food, technology and manufacturing.

– Carolyn McColl, CEO, easyJet

Moscow is easyJet's 100th Gatwick route

Carolyn McCall, CEO of British low-cost airline EasyJet - Britain's biggest airline Credit: Masante Patrice/ABACA/Press Association Images

The new London Gatwick to Moscow service is easyJet's 100th route from the airport in West Sussex. The expansion into Russia is possible after the airline successfully bid for routes that came available when BMI was bought by BA's parent company.

Under a bilateral agreement between the UK and Russia only two airlines from each country between the two capitals. easyJet beat Virgin Atlantic Airways in getting permission to fly the route.

This is the first time Moscow has been served from London Gatwick airport with the airline expecting to fly more than a quarter of a million passengers between London Gatwick and Moscow annually.

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