Franco-British ties will be stronger than ever with the launch of direct flights from Brighton to Paris.

From next spring, Sussex residents will be able to go from eating fish and chips on the pier to quaffing champagne on the Champs-Elysees within two-and-a-half hours.

From just £69, passengers will travel from Shoreham airport to Pontoise airport, on the outskirts of Paris, in an hour.

With a maximum of just 19 passengers per flight, security, immigration and boarding will be hassle-free – with check-in just 15 minutes before take-off.

Passengers will also be able to park just metres from the terminal and have access to the airport’s VIP lounge.

There will be two weekday flights out of Brighton, with a further two returning from Paris.

Weekends will see just one flight each way.

Niche travel

Tony Mernagh, from the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership, said: “Clearly the capacity will be limited, but the great thing about this service is that it will be ideal for those companies where travel requirements crop up unexpectedly.

“It is a good niche offer to our already excellent transport links to Europe.”

Adam Bates, head of tourism at VisitBrighton, welcomed the news but said the organisation would continue to focus its efforts on Gatwick, which sees thousands of passengers arrive in the country each day.

He added: “However, this is great news and really good for the airport. Gatwick will remain our priority but we hope this will bring additional visitors to the area.”

The first flight of the day is set to leave Shoreham at 8.30am, arriving an hour later at 10.30am (French time).

Welcome The first returning flight from Paris will leave shortly after at 11am (French time), landing in Sussex an hour later at 11am (UK time).

The second flight will leave Shoreham at 5pm (UK time), arriving in Paris an hour later before the return flight leaves at 7.30pm (French time), arriving at 7.30pm (UK time).

Claire Ottewell, chairman of the Brighton and Hove tourism alliance, said: “All additional access routes to our fair city are very welcome, especially in the current climate. With ambitions of growing our reputation as a culinary destination of excellence, all links with Paris should be celebrated and capitalised upon.

“It would be great if we could encourage Parisian chefs to work in the city and help fill our skills shortage.

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