A new scheduled airline service to Madrid out of Birmingham Airport has launched - one of three Spanish routes to open for business this year.
Europe's third largest low-cost airline Norwegian has made its inaugural flight between the Spanish capital and Birmingham and has also become the only airline currently to operate a direct scheduled route between the two airports.
The service will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and was greeted into Birmingham with a water-arch salute on arrival yesterday.
Hot on its heels is the launch today of flights to Malaga, which will operate every Monday, Friday and Saturday, and Barcelona which is due to commence on June 1, flying Mondays and Fridays.
Norwegian will operate a 186-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a one service cabin and free wi-fi.
David Winstanley, chief operating officer at Birmingham Airport, said: "This is a double celebration - we're celebrating the launch of direct flights to Madrid and welcoming Norwegian to Birmingham Airport.
"Madrid marks the first of three new Spanish routes set to be served by Norwegian from Birmingham, a clear indication of the enormous demand that exists for these popular destinations.
"We're confident that our business and leisure passengers will be impressed with Norwegian's low fares and efficient service."
Norwegian's chief commercial officer Thomas Ramdahl added: "We're very happy to celebrate the new routes from Birmingham to several destinations in Spain.
"Now travellers in the greater Birmingham area can take advantage of Norwegian's low fares and award-winning service.
"Our crew is looking forward to welcoming new customers on board our brand new and more environmentally friendly fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft with free wifi."