DAILY flights between Manston and Amsterdam have been announced by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
The service, which will connect East Kent to the rest of the world via Schiphol, a hub airport, will start on April 2.
KLM will offer connections to its worldwide network of over 130 destinations with twice-daily flights for up to 80 passengers.
It now offers 17 departure airports in Great Britain, making it the UK's largest long haul regional airline.
Manston Airport chief executive Charles Buchanan said: "The new services will be a real benefit to Kent and its residents.
"Passengers will be able to arrive at Manston, park adjacent to the terminal building, check in and be on the flight to Amsterdam within minutes.
"A hassle-free experience that makes travelling a pleasure. Passengers from Manston can leave home without the worries of road congestion or excessive flight delays affecting their journey.
"I'm ecstatic. this is great news for Kent, Great news for Manston and great news for KLM."
"They are saying that there is a market here in Kent for them to service and believe will it will attract other airlines that will see that opportunity."
Air France KLM UK general manager Henri Hourcade said: "This is one step in the global strategy of KLM to offer a presence in the provinces - it is not something out of a hat.
"We think there are people in Kent who are fed up with driving their cars, the traffic, the M25, expensive parking, and a saturated airport and we will offer a hassle free alternative to London."
It is creating 28 new jobs at the airport from April. Tickets go on sale from tomorrow on the airline's website www.klm.com.
For more, see Friday's Isle of Thanet Gazette.