Flybe is to run new ski routes to Chambery, Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon from Cardiff this winter.

The flights will operate between December 21 and April next year with one-way fares starting at £34.99 and mark the return of flights to winter sports destinations from the Welsh airport after an absence of three years.

The regional carrier is to deploy 78-seat Q400 and 88-set Embraer 175 aircraft and on the routes.

Chambery will be served twice a week, with weekly flights on Saturdays to the other three destinations.

Flybe also operates services to Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Jersey from Cardiff.

The airline’s marketing director Simon Lilley said: “Our four new direct ski routes from Cardiff offer a choice of affordable and particularly attractive ski destinations direct from Wales, saving people valuable time, money and especially the hassle of having to trek to England before they even start their journey.

“We see these new routes as a natural addition to our network out of Cardiff airport and are confident that these attractive winter destinations can only be positive news for Wales.”

Airport chief executive Jon Horne said: “We have been working closely with Flybe as part of our strategy to bring back a greater choice of flights and destinations to Cardiff Airport and we look forward to exploring further opportunities in this regard.”

Concludes Mr Lilley: “Flybe will continue to explore all possibilities for expanding our services at Cardiff and we look forward to welcoming our first ‘Welsh snowbirds’ on board in December whether they want to hit the slopes or just simply enjoy a quiet winter getaway.”