EasyJet is to start the first scheduled flights between Manchester and Moscow next year.
The budget airline will fly four times a week to Moscow from March.
An extra aircraft will be based at Manchester, creating 80 jobs for pilots, cabin crew and ground handling staff.
Routes to Prague and Thessaloniki in Greece are also due to start in the spring.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall told the Manchester Evening News: “We are pleased to announce the launch of the first ever scheduled services between Manchester and Moscow.
“Russia has a fast growing economy and is a country rich in culture and history – so a direct link from the north of England has been long overdue.
“With our strong European network we look forward to connecting Moscow with other European cities.
“We are also pleased to be able to announce further expansion from Manchester with the arrival of another aircraft in March 2013. This is great news for the regional economy, creating much-needed jobs in the city.
“Moscow and Prague will appeal to business and leisure travellers alike, with Thessaloniki promising to be a popular choice for holidaymakers from the region.”
EasyJet had already announced the start of Moscow flights from Gatwick next year.