GLASGOW Airport is getting the year off to a flying start with an airline gearing up for its first ever flight out of Scotland's biggest city.

CityJet is launching daily flights to the Welsh capital of Cardiff from Monday just 24 hours after rival competitor Flybe abandons the route after nearly six years.

The maiden flight will take off in the morning after airport chiefs successfully launched a Europe-wide search for a replacement carrier willing to save the service.

Dublin-based CityJet, which is owned by Air France, agreed to step in and preserve the 313-mile link and the airline is laying on two daily flights each weekday with the promise of a third flight every Thursday and Friday in the summer.

CityJet chief executive Christine Ourmières said: "We hope that our new route from Glasgow to Cardiff will provide vital connections for both business and leisure passengers in Scotland.

"We are keen to invest in Glasgow and we hope people will take advantage of the new daily flights.

"Cardiff has much to offer in terms of history and culture and with the Six Nations rugby tournament kicking off in February, I'm sure there will be plenty of interest generated among rugby fans."

Monday's maiden flight is welcomed by Paul White, business development manager at Glasgow Airport.

He said: "It will be the first time the airline has operated from Glasgow and we were delighted with its swift decision to step in and maintain what is an important business and tourism link with the Welsh capital."

Flybe is axing the service tomorrow as part of a major review of routes in an attempt to stem multi-million pound losses.