United Airlines to operate new service from Edinburgh to Washington DC

Edinburgh Airport has announced the launch of a direct route between the capital of Scotland and the capital of the United States, starting next summer.

This is the first time that a direct route between Edinburgh and Washington DC will be on offer.

Starting May 23, 2018, United Airlines will operate the service to Washington Dulles, offering daily flights between the two capital cities. United will continue to operate its year-round flights to New York Newark as well as extending its summer service to Chicago.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘This is fantastic news for Edinburgh Airport and Scotland as we connect our two capital cities for the first time. As Scotland’s busiest airport, we are a leader for international destinations and this demonstrates the confidence of US carriers in the Edinburgh market, standing ahead of other parts of the UK with such strong inbound tourism demand.

‘Our partners at United have seen first-hand the positive impact of flights from Edinburgh to New York Newark and Chicago, and we are keen to replicate that to Washington for both a business and tourist audience. ‘The Scottish economy will also benefit as we open up Edinburgh to a new market and as international passengers continue to soar, we will see a positive contribution to the local and national economy.’

Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf said: ‘This new service between Edinburgh and Washington DC will help to strengthen the important economic and cultural links between Scotland and the United States.

‘The launch of a direct route into America’s capital city is great news for Scottish businesses, giving them better access to important US markets through United’s hub operation. It will also help support our tourism industry by making it even easier for visitors to get a taste of the fantastic experiences Edinburgh, and Scotland as a whole, have to offer.

‘I warmly welcome this announcement and wish Edinburgh Airport and United Airlines every success with this new route. I have no doubt it will prove popular with travellers on both sides of the Atlantic.’

Flybe to commence service from Heathrow with flights to Scotland

Flybe, the UK-based European regional airline, has become the first domestic carrier to begin operating at Heathrow Airport since 2013, according to a release by Aberdeen Airport.

The move comes after the UK’s hub announced a GBP10 reduction in domestic passenger charges in January in an attempt to enhance domestic connections at the airport. The move opens up a network of onward connections for travellers from Scotland globally and also enables inbound tourists and investors to visit Scotland’s capital and the Granite City. As per the plan, Flybe will operate up to four daily services to Edinburgh and three to Aberdeen, with fares starting from GBP29.99 and GBP34.99 one-way, respectively.

Flybe CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener, said: ‘We are so pleased to confirm further our commitment to Scotland by offering even more flights to London with our two new routes from Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Heathrow’s Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, giving passengers greater choice and also linking them with our range of codeshare partners through our ‘One Stop to the World’ approach.

‘Passengers can, for example, fly onwards with Virgin Atlantic to Los Angeles or New York, or fly east with Singapore Airlines – all on one ticket from Edinburgh or Aberdeen. Early bookings show this is an increasingly important part of the booking profile for these two new routes and we look forward to adding even more codeshare partners shortly.

‘Flybe is the UK’s leading regional airline, with more routes connecting local communities than any other carrier. Our new flights offer the best value for money for those flying between Scotland and Heathrow and mean we can now better serve our passengers in both Scotland and the South East.’

Heathrow Operations Director Derek Provan added: ‘Earlier this year, Heathrow reduced domestic passenger charges by GBP10 and it’s great to see the benefits of that coming through with Flybe’s new services to Aberdeen and Edinburgh boosting choice for our passengers.

‘More airlines flying routes to Scottish airports means more flights, more competition and choice for families, and more visitors to Scotland. With Flybe operating from the award-winning Terminal 2, Scottish passengers and businesses now have direct access from Heathrow to over 180 global destinations including some of the fastest growing export markets around the world. We’re delighted to welcome them to the Heathrow family.’

Flybe services will operate from Heathrow’s Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal, and will provide passengers with connections onto Star Alliance’s network of 44 global destinations served directly from Heathrow. Passengers will also have transfers onto flights from Flybe’s codeshare partners Emirates, Virgin, Etihad and Singapore Airlines from Terminal 3.

Flybe partners with Virgin Atlantic to offer new destinations for Scottish travellers

Leading European regional airline Flybe has announced a partnership with Virgin Atlantic to offer Scottish travellers new flight services to international destinations including Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai.

Under the partnership, new Flybe flights from Aberdeen and Edinburgh will connect customers onto Virgin Atlantic flights to the US, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In this connection, the two airlines have extended their codeshare agreement to include London Heathrow. The new Flybe codeshare flights to London Heathrow will operate starting March 26, offering four services per day from Edinburgh Airport, and up to three services per day from Aberdeen Airport.

Passengers will be able to book tickets to travel from Edinburgh and Aberdeen with Flybe, and connect onto Virgin Atlantic flights at London Heathrow. The agreement will allow passengers to connect between Flybe and Virgin Atlantic with a single check in and bag drop.

The new flights are now on sale at www.virginatlantic.com.

Erik Varwijk, Executive Vice President, Commercial, Virgin Atlantic commented: ‘Our partnership with Flybe will bring the world a little closer to Scotland with exciting new Virgin Atlantic destinations available across the US, Asia, and Africa. The extended codeshare agreement builds on the partnership we announced last year which has proved popular with customers across the UK.

‘We look forward to offering easy connections to some of our most popular destinations such as the US cities of San Francisco and Boston, as well as helping to boost business and investment with access to major hubs such as Hong Kong and Dubai.’

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer, added: ‘Flybe is especially delighted that this extension of our valued codeshare partnership with Virgin will enable us to better serve Scottish travellers and global visitors, further realising our ambition of being a ‘One Stop to the World’ for the UK regions.

‘We greatly look forward to cementing our commitment to Scotland and welcoming even more Virgin passengers on board our new Heathrow flights from Aberdeen and Edinburgh when they start at the end of March.’

The new destinations on offer from Aberdeen and Edinburgh via London Heathrow include Los Angeles with fares starting from £498 return, San Francisco from £498 return, Boston from £398 return, Washington from £418 return and Hong Kong from £445 return, Flybe said.

Flybe announces two new routes between Heathrow and Scotland

Flybe, the UK-based European regional airlines, has recently said that it will commence operations from London Heathrow to Scotland.

The new service will offer a choice of more than 40 scheduled flights a week from Aberdeen and Edinburgh. The new routes complement Flybe’s existing London City flights from the two Scottish airports. With the route expansion, effective March 26, 2017, Flybe will offer up to 18 flights a day between London and Edinburgh, and 10 between London and Aberdeen.

Flybe’s Executive Chairman, Simon Laffin, said: ‘We are delighted to announce our first flights to London Heathrow, significantly enhancing our UK domestic route network and offering even better links between Scotland and London. The new routes to Heathrow complement the existing ones we operate to London City, and will benefit our business customers and customers in Scotland who want to connect with our long haul codeshare partners.

‘Flybe is the leading airline serving UK domestic passengers and these new services position us well to serve our passengers in both Scotland and the South East. We have long been lobbying for Heathrow to offer more opportunities for domestic flights to enhance regional connectivity. Whilst other operators may have dismissed the possibility of further domestic routes into Heathrow, we look forward to working with the airport to further expand the range of domestic destinations.’

Heathrow’s Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye, added: ‘Improving the connections into Heathrow from all around the UK will be vital in helping to secure the economic future of communities in every corner of the nation. Today’s announcement shows that the measures we’re introducing, such as the £10 reduction on domestic passenger charges, are already working to secure vital links.

‘More airlines flying routes to Scottish airports means more flights, more competition and choice for families, and more visitors to Scotland. With Flybe based at Terminal 2, it also means new, unique direct access from Heathrow to markets such as Colombia, Taipei and Auckland – meaning more opportunity for Scottish businesses looking to reach new export markets.’

Flybe will use Heathrow’s Terminal 2 and offer ‘One Stop to the World’ connectivity to its codeshare and interline partners. Flight fares start from £39.99 one way including taxes and charges.

Eurowings to commence new Edinburgh – Munich route in March

Edinburgh Airport has announced a new direct service between Scotland’s capital and Munich by Eurowings.

The new five times weekly service – which will commence on March 31, 2017 – offers a greater choice of business and leisure links direct between Scotland and Europe. Munich was Edinburgh’s first twin city in 1954 and this new link will further build the business and cultural ties between Bavaria and Scotland, the airport reported.

The Eurowings flight will depart Edinburgh at 08.35 hours to reach Munich at 11.50 hours, on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays, the flight will depart Edinburgh at 13.15 hours to reach Munich at 16.30 hours, while on Sunday the flight will depart the Scottish capital at 08.15 hours to reach Munich at 11.30 hours. For return, the flight will leave Munich Airport at 06.30 hours on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays to arrive Munich at 0755 hours. On Tuesdays the flight will depart Edinburgh at 11.10 hours to reach Munich at 12.35 hours; while on Sunday, the flight will depart the Scottish capital at 06.10 hours to reach Munich at 07.35 hours.

Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive Gordon Dewar said: ‘I am delighted that Edinburgh Airport has a direct new service into Bavaria; this offers even greater choice and is further confirmation of Edinburgh Airport’s position as a leader for connectivity between Scotland and the continent for both business and leisure passengers.

‘We are well on course to have handled in excess of 12 million passengers by the end of the year and we are continuing to grow, create jobs and make a positive contribution for Scotland’s economy.’

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: ‘VisitScotland plays a very important role in partnering airlines on innovative marketing programmes, helping to bring new and extended routes to Scotland’s network. We are delighted that Eurowings has introduced this new service from Munich, which will allow us to welcome even more visitors from one of Scotland’s biggest international markets.’

Heathrow announces return of Inverness link, opens up Highlands

Inverness and the Highlands are now reconnected to London Heathrow, the UK’s global gateway, via a daily service which will facilitate business growth in the north of Scotland, according to a release by Heathrow Airport.

This new daily service operated by British Airways reconnects the capital of the Highlands to Heathrow for the first time in almost a decade. With over 100,000 seats available annually, the service opens up profitable trade routes and 92 new onward long-haul destinations, enabling businesses and leisure passengers to more easily connect to markets around the world.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: ‘The Inverness-Heathrow route offers so much potential for the businesses and people of the north west of Scotland who for too long have been let down by the indecision on airport expansion. Today is a momentous day – Inverness joins Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle with a route into Heathrow and access to markets from Manila to Mexico City, from Chicago to Chengdu, from Hanoi to Houston. It means more growth and a more secure economic future for the Highlands and I’m delighted that we’re able to be a part of that future success.’

Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive, Inverness Chamber of Commerce said: ‘This is a very significant development for the Highland business community in terms of increasing the connectivity between Inverness, London and the South-East of the UK. This will make it much easier for Highland businesses to connect to markets across the world. It is also a significant endorsement of all that HIAL have done to secure the UK’s leading airline, and one of the world’s most iconic commercial airline brands, back to the city of Inverness. In addition to making it easier for Highland businesses to access global destinations from Heathrow, this route makes it much easier for tourists from across the world to get to Inverness.’

Sarah Medcraf, Chief Executive Officer, Moray Chamber of Commerce said: ‘We welcome the launch of this new service which will greatly enhance the options of travel, particularly for business travel connections. The continued investment of transport links in the Highlands, Islands & Moray will encourage economic development to show that this is the place to live, work and play.’

According to new economic analysis, the Inverness route will have a significant positive impact on the Inverness economy with benefits for regional industries such as life sciences, food and drink and tourism, the release noted.

Nordic Aviation launches new Tallinn route from Edinburgh

Nordic Aviation has announced a new thrice-weekly service between Tallinn and Edinburgh for this summer, according to Edinburgh Airport.

Nordic Aviation’s new service is Scotland’s only flight to Estonia. The service will commence on May 28 and operate until October 3, 2016, and will be operated in cooperation with Adria Airways aboard modern CRJ-900 jets.

Nordic Aviation board member Erik Sakkov said, ‘Edinburgh’s rich historical heritage makes it perfect for Estonian holiday makers who will enjoy a unique combination of ancient Scottish and modern European culture.

Moreover, I’m sure that Tallinn and Estonia have a lot to offer for Scottish people too. Our country’s beautiful medieval capital, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Estonia’s diverse nature and fascinating cultural traditions make it possible that everyone will find something for themselves.’

Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive Gordon Dewar said: ‘We are delighted that Edinburgh Airport has a direct new flight into Tallinn and the three times weekly service which is perfectly-timed for weekend city-breaks.

‘This announcement is yet further confirmation of Edinburgh Airport’s position as the leader for business and tourism connectivity between Scotland and international destinations.

‘It is greatly encouraging that Nordic Aviation recognises the growing demand for connectivity to and from Edinburgh – and this new service adds to our city’s and Scotland’s growing international profile.

‘With over 11 million passengers through the doors at Edinburgh Airport in 2015 – we are continuing to grow, create jobs and make a positive contribution for Scotland’s economy.’

Edinburgh Airport has also recently announced January’s passenger numbers showing 700,142 people passed through the airport in the first month of the year. The change represents double digit growth from January 2015, with a 21.7 per cent annual hike in the number of international passengers.

New London train services from Sunderland and Sterling introduced by Virgin Trains

Virgin Trains East Coast launched a new range of services to London yesterday from Stirling and Sunderland in response to passenger demand for more early morning departures, Rail Technology Magazine has reported.

A number of local dignitaries travelled on-board both inaugural services, with the rail minister, Claire Perry MP, meeting the new Sunderland service at London King’s Cross Station. She also named the Virgin Train ‘Spirit of Sunderland’.

David Horne, managing director of Virgin Trains on its east coast route, said: ‘This is a hugely exciting day for us as we launch more services, and add Sunderland to the Virgin rail map.’

Virgin Trains has also announced that with immediate effect that it will operate a new evening service between Hull and Doncaster. The new service is intended to open up new travel opportunities for customers seeking to travel to London.

Perry said: ‘It is fantastic to see the start of these new services from Sunderland and Stirling. As a one nation government, we know that transport doesn’t just help hardworking people get around, it helps them get on.

‘These new services will provide better journeys for customers and boost economic ties between Scotland, the north east and London, stimulating growth and helping rebalance our economy.’

A fleet of 65 new Virgin Trains will also be introduced on the East Coast Main Line from 2018 under the Intercity Express Programme. These trains are being built by Hitachi at its plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

TIMETABLE

 

Sunderland to London

 

Sunderland dep: 05:40

 

London King’s Cross arr: 09.08

 

Stirling to London

 

Stirling dep: 05:26

 

London King’s Cross arr: 10.52

 

Hull to Doncaster

 

Hull dep: 20:28

 

Brough dep: 20:42

 

Selby dep: 21:03

 

Doncaster dep: 21.22

Etihad Airways announces new daily Edinburgh – Abu Dhabi service

Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates’ national carrier, is looking to connect the Middle East to the Scottish capital with the launch of daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Edinburgh, starting this week.

Etihad Airways’ first Scottish destination, the Edinburgh service is its third in the UK, alongside a triple-daily operation to London Heathrow and double-daily flights to Manchester.

The new service is expected to provide connections through the Abu Dhabi hub to some of the most popular holiday destinations and trade centres for the Scottish economy in the Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Asia and Australia. Operated using a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft, the service offers a total of 22 seats in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy Class.

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer for Etihad Airways, said: ‘Scotland is the natural next step on our growth trajectory in the UK, with strong tourism and business traffic in both directions. We have been impressed by the welcome we have received from Edinburgh Airport and from the Scottish tourism industry. Many local stakeholders have played a part in attracting us to the city and welcoming us here, and we’re confident this service will be a great success.

‘As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is also an important business and financial hub across many industry sectors. With more than 110 direct destinations – and hundreds more through our partners – we can connect Scottish travellers wherever they need to go, for business or for leisure. Additionally, for Scottish trade and tourism, we will be able to bring in leisure and business visitors from many of these destinations.’

For leisure customers and families, Edinburgh – the UK’s largest tourist centre outside London – attracts over a million overseas tourists each year. Notably, Edinburgh is the second most popular British city for Australians, eight per cent of whom have Scottish ancestry. Etihad Airways currently connects directly to Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne and onward to around 40 further destinations across Australia, through the partnership with Virgin Australia.

For businesses and trade, the UAE is already a major trade partner for Scotland in the Middle East. According to data released at the end of 2014 by the UK’s Office for National Statistics, bilateral trade between the UAE and UK reached more than £12.36 billion in 2013.

 

WestJet launches daily direct service between Halifax and Glasgow

Canadian airlines WestJet has announced the launch of a non-stop daily service between Halifax, Canada; and Glasgow, Scotland, with same-aircraft service beginning in Toronto.

The inaugural flight on WestJet’s #TartanTail took off from Toronto Pearson on May 29 at 6:10 p.m. EDT with a brief stop at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, before departing for Glasgow at 10:45 p.m. ADT.

‘Today’s launch of service to the UK marks the start of another exciting chapter in the history of WestJet,’ said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. ‘As Canada’s low-fare leader for nearly 20 years, we have dedicated ourselves to liberating Canadians from the high cost of air travel. With our service to Ireland and the U.K., we are making it more affordable than ever before to travel overseas, whether for business or leisure.’

The Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada, commented: ‘By taking the initiative to seek out new opportunities beyond Canada’s borders and launching this new air route, WestJet is strengthening the historic ties between Nova Scotia and Scotland, and supporting our economy and communities by connecting Canadians to the United Kingdom and the world.’

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: ‘WestJet’s new Halifax-Glasgow route is a major boost for Glasgow, providing the perfect opportunity to strengthen existing cultural and business links between both cities. Canada is Glasgow’s third-largest international market with 37,000 trips made each year by Canadian visitors who generate GBP12 million for the city’s economy. There will undoubtedly be strong demand for this service, which has huge potential to deliver significant inbound leisure tourism.’

Mike Cantlay, OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, added: ‘Canada and Nova Scotia in particular represent an exciting diaspora stronghold and a fantastic opportunity for Scottish tourism. Some 4.7 million Canadians have Scottish ancestry, with 24 per cent wanting to visit Scotland in search of those roots. The new WestJet route from Halifax to Glasgow presents a great platform for the tourism industry in Scotland to tap into an ancestral market worth up to GBP450 million over the next five years.’

Tourists and travellers flying with WestJet to Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, land at 8 a.m. local time, offering opportunities to connect via 30 airlines to more than 100 non-stop and connecting destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. The return flight departs Glasgow at 9.30 a.m. local time, to reach Toronto at 2.35 p.m.

Scotland’s principal long-haul airport and a charter hub, Glasgow offers tourists the convenience to explore the idyllic west coast islands and Scotland’s wealth of lochs, mountains and golf courses.