British Airways has launched direct flights between Inverness and London Heathrow.
The daily service reconnects the capital of the Highlands to Heathrow for the first time in almost a decade, opening up lucrative trade routes and 92 new onward long-haul destinations.
New economic analysis released by Heathrow predicts the route will have a significant positive impact on the Inverness economy with benefits for regional industries such as life sciences, food and drink and tourism.
With more than 100,000 seats will be available on the route annually, the research found that for inbound tourism alone, the link will could generate up to £8m a year in additional growth.
Whisky and Salmon are the biggest contributors to the value of Scotland’s international exports of food and drink and are key sectors in the area around Inverness and the Highlands.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “The Inverness-Heathrow route offers so much potential for the businesses and people of the north west of Scotland who for too long have been let down by the indecision on airport expansion. Today is a momentous day – Inverness joins Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle with a route into Heathrow and access to markets from Manila to Mexico City, from Chicago to Chengdu, from Hanoi to Houston. It means more growth and a more secure economic future for the Highlands and I’m delighted that we’re able to be a part of that future success.”