Campaigning by a Sheffield city councillor and MP has led to direct flights being set up between the north of England and Saudi Arabia.
Coun Ibrar Hussain, Labour councillor for Burngreave, and David Blunkett, Brightside and Hillsborough Labour MP, have petitioned Saudi Arabian Airlines to provide services so Muslim people in Sheffield can travel more easily to Mecca.
The company has now confirmed it will run three direct flights from Manchester to Jeddah from April.
Coun Hussain said: “I have long campaigned for this and now, at last, after petitioning Saudi Arabian Airlines with hundreds of people supporting and signing the petition, it has happened.
“At present you have to travel to Heathrow, but these services will be a great convenience for local people to travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah and Hajj, as we have a very large Muslim community.”