Aer Lingus is launching a new flight from Ireland West Airport to London Heathrow, starting from March 26.
The new route will replace the airline’s service from Knock to London Gatwick, which will cease operations on March 25.
"Customers already booked on this route will be automatically rebooked on a same-day flight,” it said.
There will be no additional cost for the rebooking, and customers also have the option of rerouting, taking a voucher or opting for a refund.
As well as a new destination and connecting hub for travellers departing Co Mayo, the Heathrow route will boost inbound tourism, according to Reid Moody, chief strategy and planning officer at Aer Lingus.
“Interest in visiting the west of Ireland is very high, with the Oscar-nominated The Banshees of Inisherin showcasing the beauty of the west of Ireland to millions of people globally,” he said.
Martin McDonagh’s film, starring Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Kerry Condon, has been nominated for nine Oscars, the most ever for an Irish film.
Movies and TV shows are a huge driver of travel – inspiring up to 35pc of visitors in their choice of destination, Tourism Ireland has said.
It has previously run marketing campaigns on the back of Star Wars, Derry Girls and Game of Thrones, all of which used filming locations on the island.
“As an island destination, we know there’s a proven direct correlation between access and growth in visitor numbers, so this new flight will certainly help boost visitor numbers from Britain,” said its CEO, Niall Gibbons.
The new London Heathrow route comes as Ireland West continues to recover after the pandemic, with passenger numbers last year reaching 89pc of its 2019 figures.
Ryanair in particular has been adding capacity, with new services to Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester last year, and a new summer service to Lanzarote scheduled for this year.
It also flies to London Luton and London Stansted from the Co Mayo airport, among other routes.
“The hub status of Heathrow for businesses to connect with the global marketplace is a potential game-changer for this region,” said Joe Gilmore, managing director at Ireland West.
In other aviation news, Ryanair has announced two new routes from Dublin as part of its Summer 2023 schedule – to Venice and Genoa in Italy.