DAILY flights from Oxford to the Isle of Man are set to start next month, following the success of a weekly service to Jersey.

The first scheduled flight in airline Manx2.com’s 19-seater Jetstream 31 aircraft will take off on May 8 – in time to take advantage of high demand expected for the annual motorcycle TT races, which get under way at the end of May.

Airline managing director Noel Hayes said: “Advance bookings for the service are way ahead of our business plan.

“So we are confident the service will be popular.”

Anne Hartley, the airline’s business development executive, added: “If we need a larger aircraft to meet demand, we shall provide one.”

Fares for the hour-long flight from London Oxford Airport at Kidlington to Ronaldsway Airport, near Castletown, on the Isle of Man, start at £50 one-way, rising with demand.

Oxford airport managing director Chris Orphanou told the Oxford Mail: “About £25m has been invested in the airport since 2007 when the Reuben brothers bought it.

“Now it is really going places. But we are concentrating on small aircraft.

“The new £4.4m radar will be in operation soon, which will make the airport even more attractive for operators of scheduled services.”

Earlier this month, Aer Arann ceased operating its service to City Airport, London – so London Oxford Airport is now in competition with Luton and Gatwick – which also offer flights to the Isle of Man – to attract incoming tax exile passengers from the Isle of Man who are heading to the City.

James Dillon-Godfray, marketing manager at the airport, said: “Air Arann offered a 78-seater aircraft. Our advantage is to be more flexible. Also check-in times are minimal here, a totally different experience than at larger airports.

“And for outgoing passengers there is also the advantage of parking costing just £5 a day here.”

Manx2.com will also begin a daily scheduled service to Jersey on May 8 which, like the Isle of Man service, will operate year round.

Mr Dillon-Godfray said: “The weekly flight to Jersey has been very successful so we are delighted to now offer a daily service – also starting at £50 one-way.”

Mr Dillon-Godfray added that the airport was now in negotiation with a number of operators about opening a service to Guernsey.

He said: “Guernsey is on our list of top five destinations that we are looking at.”