Cross-channel flights from a provincial British airport to France will start from tomorrow (March 6) following the launch of a new airline.

Brighton City Airways will begin daily scheduled services from the renamed Brighton (Shoreham) Airport in West Sussex to Paris Pontoise Airport, 17 miles from the centre of the French capital.

Officials say it will take just an hour to fly to France on a 19-seat Let 410 commuter aircraft for £69 one way, including taxes and charges.

Sussex-based aviation expert Jonathan Candelon, who founded the airline along with former Royal Marine commando Neil Laughton, hopes French visitors to Britain will use the new service.

He said: "We are not only making it easy and affordable for passengers to enjoy Paris for day-trips, weekends and short or long breaks, but we are also bringing French visitors over to discover the South of England and its attractions."

Airport manager Ric Belfield said: "This is absolutely what we want to see at the airport, scheduled international travel bringing people through our historic airport, which was the first licensed airfield in Britain.

"This prompted us to rename the airport Brighton (Shoreham) Airport, to link it properly to our neighbouring city."