Airlines are being invited to bid for the right to run Dundee’s flight route to London.
A new 24-month contract has been put out to tender by Dundee City Council, seeking an operator for a twice-daily weekday flight as well as a single return service to and from the capital on a Sunday.
According to the contract, London is defined as “any airport within a 60-minute rail journey from/to a London Zone 1 station and designated as London according to IATA city code”.
It means flights to London from Dundee could potentially switch from Stansted to airports such as Luton or Southend, should the winning bidder chose to redirect the route.
Tenders for consideration need to be submitted by June 26.
The invitation for airlines to provide a twice-daily connection between Dundee and London comes only a month after the Tele revealed that air links between the two cities could be set for a shake-up, after it emerged funding for the current Stansted route is only to be available until later this year.
The local authority has pledged £145,000 to support the route as part of a public service obligation (PSO) package agreed between itself, the Department for Transport, Transport Scotland and route operator Loganair.
It also comes a week after Loganair announced it would not be introducing its new fleet of planes to the Dundee to Stansted route.
Alison Henderson, chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, said the invitation for the tenders was a sign that there was a commitment to the Dundee-London route.
Ms Henderson said: “This is an important route for tourism and business, linking Dundee not only with London but hopefully with an airport that connects to other airports outwith the UK.
“Ideally we would like to see flights from Dundee to an airport that provides a central onward hub elsewhere out of the UK.
“Air travel is hugely important both for business and tourism in Dundee.
“Dundee businesses are very keen to see regular flights to London and would welcome flights to an airport hub.
“We are hoping for the right flights, to the right locations at the right price to be put in place as quickly as possible.”
Dundee City Council and airport operators Highlands and Islands Airports Limited were approached for comment but had not responded at the time of going to press.