• Budget airline EasyJet to launch six new European routes from Edinburgh Airport
• German cities of Berlin and Hamburg among new routes
• Prague, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Dubrovnik routes also launched
Easyjet will take passengers from Edinburgh Airport to German cities Berlin and Hamburg and popular short-break destinations Prague, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Dubrovnik.
Bosses at the carrier said the links would bring almost 140,000 more passengers to Scotland and boost the economy by £90 million.
Two new Easyjet planes will be added to the five already based at the terminal, with the first Airbus A319 due to arrive on December 2. The new routes – which begin next year – were today welcomed by airport bosses, politicians and tourism chiefs.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive at the airport, said: “Edinburgh Airport is committed to extending Scotland’s reach across Europe and the world and we will do this by working in partnership with leading airlines like Easyjet.
“Today’s announcement is hugely exciting for Scottish aviation by relinking Edinburgh with Berlin and Reykjavik and adding fantastic new destinations such as Hamburg and Prague.
“I’m sure these new routes will boost business and leisure travel to and from Scotland underlining aviation’s key role in our economy.”
The Scottish Government said forming links with other European cities was crucial ahead of major events being held in the country over the next few years.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “International interest in Scotland has arguably never been greater and a number of these locations are on VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise’s wish lists in terms of target markets.
“People from across the world are eagerly anticipating what Scotland has to offer, and with the likes of the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming all fast approaching I fully expect that level of interest to increase.
“These new Easyjet routes are also a major boost to our tourism sector, which is worth £11 billion to our economy.”
Easyjet’s Scottish boss, Hugh Aitken, said hundreds of jobs would be supported as a result of the move.
He added: “We will also be increasing our frequencies and the number of routes we are able to operate.
“I’m confident our new 2013 schedule will really appeal to people travelling to and from Scotland both on business and for leisure and will further bolster Edinburgh’s world-famous appeal for tourists.
“I would like to thank the government on behalf of Easyjet for its on-going support of our growth in the Capital.”