Direct Edinburgh-Istanbul link ‘will be first of many’
Edinburgh airport’s new owner has committed itself to creating more direct links with global destinations after welcoming the inaugural flight from the capital to Istanbul.
Global Infrastructure Partners bought the airport for £807 million from BAA last month and said securing more direct routes was vital for the wider economy, a sentiment shared by the SNP, which called for air passenger duty to be devolved if Scotland is to attract more airlines.
Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “Connectivity guides everything we do and this new route is doubly exciting because of the onward connections Istanbul offers.
“We’re committed to continuing to play our role in the Scottish economy by linking the capital to as many destinations as we can. It is crucial that we secure further direct routes across Europe and beyond.”
The Turkish Airlines service will run four times a week and the carrier’s chief executive, Temel Kotil, said he was confident that it could soon start providing daily flights to Istanbul, which offers onward links to China, Japan, Singapore and South Africa.
Infrastructure secretary Alex Neil said: “The Scottish Government is determined to improve our international air connections with key global markets and this new service to Istanbul is a significant step forward in that respect.”
He described Turkish Airlines’ decision to fly from Edinburgh as “a major success story in our drive to maximise the economic benefits which direct air connections bring”.
SNP MSP Colin Keir, whose constituency includes the airport, added: “If air passenger duty was more competitive and devolved to Holyrood, we could be seeing a lot more airlines choosing to invest in Scotland.”
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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