EDINBURGH airport today finally won a long sought after route to the Middle East with Qatar Airways announcing direct flights to Doha from next May.
The five times a week service will operate with Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which will give passengers at Scotland’s busiest airport a one-stop link to Asia and Australia.
The news comes after Emirates increased its foothold in Scotland by doubling its daily flights between Glasgow and Dubai, which have proved popular with Scots travelling long haul who want to avoid Heathrow and other European hub airports.
It also marks another major win for Edinburgh within days after Monday’s announcement of US Airways launching flights to Philadelphia next year.
United Airlines will also fly to Chicago from the airport in 2014.
The service, which Edinburgh airport today described as “a missing piece for many years in the capital city’s route network” will link it with more than 120 destinations.
It is also seen as boosting visitor numbers for the 2014 Year of Homecoming.
The flights will operate from 28 May, every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays, using 254-seat Dreamliners.
Edinburgh airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “We’ve been promising our friends and partners across the city and the country a Middle Eastern route for a number of years now.
“I am ecstatic to be sharing this news today and would like to thank all for their patience and support.
“We rebranded our airport for a reason. We wanted to reflect our ambition and raise our aspirations. We can now say with growing confidence that Edinburgh is where Scotland meets the world.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “This new direct service is excellent news for Scotland’s aviation sector and provides yet more evidence of the strong bonds we are building with Qatar.
“The Scottish Government has worked hard to foster links with the Gulf States, promoting Scotland as a market leader in oil and gas and a great place to do business.
“Direct services make Scotland a more attractive destination for both tourists and businesses by removing the need for extra connecting flights. This not only helps the economy by boosting tourism, but also encourages overseas trade and investment.”