BMI Regional is to take off from Newcastle airport for the first time next year with flights to Brussels.

The carrier starts a double-daily service on March 3, 2014 using a 49-seat Embraer regional jet. Fares start at £69.99 one-way including taxes.

Newcastle becomes the third UK airport to be connected to the Belgian capital by BMI Regional after East Midlands and Edinburgh.

Airline chief executive Cathal O’Connell said: “This is our first route from Newcastle International and we’re delighted to provide the only direct flight for travellers from the northeast of England to the Belgian capital.

“This year we’ve launched over a dozen new routes from British airports and our new Newcastle to Brussels service opens up opportunities for those travelling for business and for pleasure.”

South Tyneside Council leader Iain Malcolm said: “The launch of BMI’s Newcastle to Brussels service is great news for the regional economy. Connectivity is vital to enable businesses to grow and prosper and we’re sure that the regional business community will be thrilled with this announcement.”