Direct flights between the Isle of Man and Glasgow will to be reinstated in the spring.
The move follows discussions Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond had with Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK during a visit here in July.
During those talks, the two parties pledged to work together to restore the link before the 2014 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Glasgow, with Mr Salmond saying it was ‘far too important to lose’.
He reiterated that sentiment ahead of the release of today’s announcement.
‘When we met in the summer, the Chief Minister and I made a pledge to restore these flights in time for the Commonwealth Games and both governments have worked hard to make this happen,’ he said.
‘I’m pleased the service will, in fact, be back up and running well before the summer as it was simply too important a connection to lose.
‘Next year will see special events in Scotland and the Isle of Man.
‘The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will see a team from the Isle of Man competing, and the TT race on the island is always popular.
‘These flights will serve as a symbol of the close historical and cultural links between Scotland and the Isle of Man, providing a boost to tourism and business on both sides of the water.’
Mr Bell said: ‘The Isle of Man Government is pleased to have worked in partnership with the Scottish Government to help restore the important direct air link serving our two countries, as we promised to do when the First Minister visited the island in July this year.
‘This is good news for the Isle of Man as a centre for business and tourism, and it can only reinforce the valued social and economic connections that exist between the Scots and the Manx. We look forward to welcoming more visitors from Scotland in 2014, and to flying the Three Legs flag at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next summer.’
From the end of March, Citywing will operate nine return flights a week between Glasgow Airport and the Isle of Man, with a view to increasing that number.
Managing director David Buck said: ‘I am delighted we have been able to restore this vital link between the two communities of the Isle of Man and Scotland. There is a long history of business, social and cultural links between the two.
‘It is a pleasure to introduce the direct flights from March 31, 2014. It is particularly pleasing to restore this link in time for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, benefitting both athletes and fans from the island.
‘The Isle of Man, like Scotland, promises a warm and friendly welcome. We very much hope that passengers will take advantage of our new direct service and discover what our lovely island has to offer.
‘Similarly, we hope business passengers will find the service beneficial.’
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: We have been working hard to reinstate flights to the Isle of Man following the withdrawal in June of the previous service. It has always been a popular route and we are delighted that Glasgow Airport will be able to offer Scotland’s only direct service to the island.
‘Citywing’s nine weekly flights will safeguard Scotland’s important links with the Manx economy and perhaps more importantly, they will be operational in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games when the Isle of Man will be one of the 70 competing countries.’