An airline already flying out of Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport says it will start offering 18-minute flights to and from Waterloo Region next month.

FlyGTA Airlines says its flights will be priced at $129, including all taxes and fees, and will use twin-engine planes with seating capacity for eight people.

Flights will be available Monday to Friday, with the initial schedule calling for flights leaving the Region of Waterloo International Airport at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and flights leaving Toronto bound for Waterloo Region at 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The announcement of the flights – and similar new service between Toronto and the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport near Barrie – was made Tuesday morning, in a press conference at Billy Bishop Airport.

“I think that this particular service is going to be well-utilized by the knowledge industry and others in our community,” Coun. Tom Galloway said, noting that Toronto-bound transportation alternatives to Highway 401 have long been seen as a major goal for local economic development.

FlyGTA CEO Chris Nowrouzi told reporters that the airline is also planning to move ahead with flights to and from London in the near future, and hopes to announce additional destinations this winter.

Before long, he said, the airline will wind down its cargo operations and concentrate solely on moving passengers.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, FlyGTA had been flying a 12-minute route between Toronto and the Niagara District Airport for a little more than one year.

Robin Garrett, the vice-chair of that airport, said that service was so successful that FlyGTA doubled its offerings within a few months, and added weekend service as well.

 “We have nothing but good things to say about FlyGTA,” she said.

“It’s really doable to have a business meeting in the morning and be back in your office at noon.”

The first FlyGTA flights to and from Waterloo Region are scheduled to take off on Nov. 6.

With reporting by Krista Simpson