British Airways will offer connecting flights from Leeds Bradford to destinations around the world from December when it begins flying four-times a day from the airport to Heathrow.

The BA daily services will connect to New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Johannesburg and other destinations.

The carrier announced the flights today, saying BA’s takeover of former domestic rival BMI made the services possible.

BMI mainline flies from Leeds Bradford, but not to Heathrow. BA is integrating BMI into its operations in stages through the summer and plans a full merger from the start of the winter schedule.

Services to Heathrow will start from December 9 and went on sale today.

Andy Lord, BA director of operations, said: “Bmi’s integration into BA is enabling us to grow our network as we promised.

“Leeds Bradford has a significant catchment area and we are delighted to offer not only direct flights to London but a well-timed schedule that will allow customers from the region to connect with flights from Heathrow.”

He added: “This is a welcome return to Yorkshire for BA. We are excited about flying from this commercially important airport again.”

Leeds Bradford Airport chief executive John Parkin said: “This important new service to Heathrow connects Yorkshire with the world.”

Willie Walsh, head of BA parent International Airlines Group, said in May: “We plan to launch flights from Heathrow to Leeds Bradford.”

It is the second boost to the regional airport in a week. Tui Travel’s Thomson Airways announced last week that it plans to double capacity from Leeds Bradford next summer, adding routes to Menorca, Ibiza, Rhodes, Tenerife, Paphos and Dalaman.

Leeds Bradford is the home base of regional carrier