UK low-cost carrier (LCC) easyJet has received approval to operate services between Manchester and Saint Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia. An easyJet spokesperson said the carrier “does not have any plans to commence flights at present. We have started this process to enable us to fly there at some point, but this is a longer-term ambition.”

EasyJet launched flights from London and Manchester to Moscow in March following approval in October 2012 for flights between the countries’ capitals. The LCC is the only airline connecting Manchester with points in Russia. The airline estimates it will carry more than 60,000 passengers between Moscow and Manchester in the first year.

EasyJet representatives have said they are interested in flying to Russia from the company’s different European bases, but it is nearly impossible due to current bilateral agreements between Russia and other countries.