With Ryanair mulling similar moves, EasyJet won approval for its first flights to Russia.

And, EasyJet beat out Virgin Atlantic for the slots. The UK Civil Aviation Authority allows two airlines to provide Moscow service. BMI used to fly there, but with its demise, that provided  an opening for a second carrier to offer service, along with British Airways.

The CAA ruled that the BA and EasyJet tandem would bring the most consumer benefit.

After winning regulatory approval in the UK, EasyJet revealed that it will launch two flights per day from London Gatwick to Moscow Domodedovo on Airbus A320 aircraft beginning in the Spring of 2013.

With 180 seats onboard the aircraft, the London-based low cost carrier indicated it expects to fly more than 230,000 passengers on the route during the first year of the service.

Fares will start from £125 roundtrip, EasyJet states.

“Russia has a fast growing economy and is a country rich in culture and history,” says EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall. “We believe that our flights will be popular with both business and leisure travellers alike. easyJet has proved again and again that when we enter a new market we open it up — bringing in competition and lower fares and enabling more people to travel on the route. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board next Spring.”