British Airways is to resume scheduled flights between Heathrow and Inverness today for the first time in almost 20 years.

Daily flights will be operating by a 143-seat Airbus A319 from Heathrow Terminal 5.

The airline previously operating flights from Heathrow to the Scottish Highlands gateway airport between 1968 and 1997 when the route was suspended for commercial reasons.

The route adds to BA’s existing connections to other parts of Scotland from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airport. The airline joins easyJet which serves Inverness from Gatwick and Luton.

However, a Flybe service between London City and Inverness was dropped in February.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “We’re delighted that Inverness will now get all of the benefits that connecting to the UK’s only hub provides.

“When the city lost its hub connection, the north of Scotland saw its global connectivity severely reduced and the region has been fighting to re-establish it ever since.

“Heathrow is one of only six airports in the world with over 50 long-haul destinations – reconnecting to Heathrow will give a huge boost to Inverness and the north of Scotland, opening up lucrative trade routes and driving the inbound tourism and foreign investment that will create local jobs.”