Infrastructure minister sees it as 'statement of intent'
Government is keen to keep the air link to London Heathrow which is currently operated by Loganair.
The route, along with the patient transfer flights to Liverpool and Manchester, are being underwritten at a cost of up to £5.5 million.
The Heathrow agreement runs until the end of March with the north-west of England connections agreed until the end of May.
Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker says the London route offers opportunities for the Island: