United Airlines launches new Edinburgh-Chicago service

United Airlines will launch its first nonstop summer seasonal service between its Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport and Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning May 22, 2014.

Subject to government approval, the airline will operate five times weekly from May 23 to June 12, daily from June 13 to September 2, and four times weekly between September 3 and October 6.

The Edinburgh-Chicago flight will depart Edinburgh at 10:25, arriving in Chicago at 13:00 the same day. The return flight will depart Chicago at 18:00, arriving in Edinburgh at 07:45 the following day. Flight times will be eight hours 35 minutes westbound and seven hours 45 minutes eastbound.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the new route would help bring visitors for 2014 events such as the Year of Homecoming and the Ryder Cup. ‘The eyes of the world will be on Scotland in 2014, and, as we host international sporting stars at the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup and celebrate another Year of Homecoming, we hope to welcome visitors from across the world, not least from the United States, with whom we share strong and enduring bonds,’ he said.

Bob Schumacher, United Airlines’ managing director sales for the UK and Ireland, said: ‘Having recently celebrated 15 years of operations in Scotland, we’re delighted schedule with seasonal non-stop service to Chicago, United’s home town.

Next year’s Homecoming promotion and Ryder Cup at Gleneagles make it the ideal time to launch these flights, which will offer our customers an increased range of travel choices and opportunities.’

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to have played our part in developing this route with the other agencies and government departments that make up Team Scotland. This collaborative approach works and we look forward to bringing many more international routes to Edinburgh in the coming months.’

The flights will operate using Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United Business First and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with increased personal space. United currently operates year-round nonstop service from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport to both Edinburgh and Glasgow.