Qatar Airways (QA) is set to commence operations between Edinburgh and the Middle Eastern hub, Doha, from May 28, 2014.
The Middle Eastern carrier, Skytrax Airline of the Year in 2011 and 2012, will fly Scotland’s first scheduled 787 Dreamliner five times per week from Scotland’s capital, linking the country with over 120 destinations worldwide.
A direct connection to Doha is expected to strengthen Edinburgh’s links to Asia, enabling vital trade routes and tourism. The connections to popular Australian hubs in Perth and Melbourne will also help Scots to travel between the two continents to go on holiday or to visit friends and relatives.
Supported by Team Scotland – the collaboration between VisitScotland, Transport Scotland and Scottish Enterprise – the new route is expected to attract millions of visitors wishing to take part in the Year of Homecoming celebrations and well as other programmes of events in Scotland.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: ‘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.
‘The eyes of the world will turn to Scotland in 2014 with a programme of events that includes the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and a second Year of Homecoming and we are keen to share these exciting times with our friends around the world.’
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.
‘Aviation is a team game and we would not have been able to secure this route without the support and hard work of Team Scotland.
‘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.’