A new low cost service has taken flight from Birmingham International Airport - and looks set to boost business links with Poland.

The inaugural 2hr 40min SkyEurope flight to Krakow took to the sky yesterday, with passengers greeted at check-in with a celebratory glass of Bucks Fizz.

Mike Oborski, Poland's consul to the West Midlands, said the flights would benefit huge numbers of people from a Polish background in the region, as well as tourists and the business community.

He said: "There has been a need for this service for many years. There are many people of Polish background who settled here after after the Second World War and there are tens of thousands of Polish workers in the West Midlands and many of them will want to make trips.

"The West Midlands also has strong and growing business links with Poland and the business community will gain a major benefit from services on their doorstep."

Flights from Birmingham will depart each Wednesday and Saturday at 8.10am and arrive at Krakow at 11.50am.

Return journeys leave on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 6.00am arriving in Birmingham at 7.40am.

Prices start at #25, including taxes, and rise to #169.

Krakow is Poland's fourth largest city, situated 11 miles from the International Airport between the Jura uplands and the Tatra Mountains. John Morris, head of community affairs at Birmingham International, said Krakow was a major tourist hotspot.