A new transcontinental flight route has marked an airport first amid a huge expansion bid.

Passengers will soon be able to step onboard an airliner at Gatwick Airport and set foot in Singapore just 13 hours later.

Five planes per week will fly between the Sussex airport and Changi Airport in what marks the first time the two locations are directly connected with each other.

Singapore Changi AirportSingapore Changi Airport (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

With Heathrow airport nearing capacity, many airlines are looking at other terminals near the capital for their flights - and Gatwick is proving to be their next destination.

Some 14 new routes have been announced ahead of the summer holidays from Iraq to the Azores.

A plane passing under the bridge at GatwickA plane passing under the bridge at Gatwick (Image: Gatwick)

The first passengers will set off on Saturday morning onboard the Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 plane with 253 seats onboard, arriving in Singapore at 6.20am local time on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The early arrival means passengers can connect to other flights in the region. Singapore Airlines now runs the fastest connecting flight from the UK to Sydney, Australia in 21 hours and 40 minutes.

What other flights have been announced?

Short and long haul flights across the globe will take off from Gatwick this summer, bringing its total number of destinations up to 223 from 56 airlines.

Later in the summer, Air India will also launch a new flight between Bengaluru, while other destinations Bangkok, Islamabad and Rovaniemi will begin later in the year.

Stephanie Wear, vice president of aviation development at Gatwick, said: “It’s fantastic that London Gatwick can offer passengers such an exciting range of destinations this summer, whether for holidays, visiting family and friends, or business trips. 

“As we work towards our vision of becoming the airport for everyone, whatever your journey, we are committed to providing passengers as much choice as possible. We are delighted to continue growing our already extensive network and welcome new airlines including ITA Airways, Atlantic Airways, Azores Airlines, Singapore Airlines and FlyErbil. 

“We are looking forward to welcoming passengers as they fly from London Gatwick this summer. Once at the airport, 95 per cent of passengers on average fly through security in less than five minutes and can experience great retail and food and beverage offerings.”