The first cross-channel flight from Brighton (Shoreham) Airport to Paris Pontoise Airport is due to take off this morning.

The 8.30am flight is the first daily scheduled service operated by new airline Brighton City Airways.

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.

Company boss 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: “Considering we have not yet started operations, we are very pleased with the demand for tickets.

“If sales continue at this level, we are confident that targets for the year will be met.

“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.”

The airline has sold more than £40,000 worth of tickets.

Airport manager Ric Belfield said: “This is absolutely what we want to see at the airport, scheduled international travel bringing peo- ple through our airport.”