Waterford was left without direct flights to the London area following the decision by Aer Lingus Regional, formerly Aer Arann, to pull out of the facility over two years ago. Belgian-based VLM Airlines is set to operate the Luton route 12 times a week in each direction.
The news comes just as UK-based Flybe ends its services between Waterford and Manchester and Waterford and Birmingham, which would have left the regional airport without commercial flights.
Waterford has received Government funding of over €1m annually in recent years in the form of an operational subvention.
Bookings can already be made for the new route through www.flyvlm.com, with twice-daily Monday-Friday return flights, as well as single services in each direction on Saturdays and Sundays.
Flights will begin on Monday, April 27, on a Fokker 50 aircraft, which has capacity for 50 passengers.
Meanwhile, VLM will also operate a four-times-weekly service between Waterford and Birmingham. VLM Airlines has flown in Europe since 1993 with its first service on the Antwerp-London City route.
Previously named Regional Airline of the Year, VLM Airlines operates a range of passenger services at Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Liege to Avignon, Bologna, Geneva, Hamburg, Nice, and Venice.
The airline’s CEO, Arthur White, said VLM is looking forward to taking on the Waterford routes.
“We’re very confident that there is a sustainable demand for reliable and convenient direct air services between the southeast of Ireland and London and Birmingham,
” he said.