Hainan Airlines expanding China flights at Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport is set to witness a substantial increase in flights to China in 2024, as Hainan Airlines bolsters its operations in the Scottish capital.

This development underscores Edinburgh’s enduring appeal to international travellers and signals substantial growth for Hainan Airlines at Edinburgh Airport. Notably, Edinburgh Airport stands as the sole airport in Scotland offering direct flights to China, highlighting the city’s strategic importance in fostering global connectivity.

Hainan’s extended schedule will include flights between Edinburgh and Beijing from May 17 to October 26, 2024, marking an expansion of nine weeks compared to the previous year. During the peak summer months, from June 1 to September 30, there will be four flights per week, with an additional two flights per week during other times. Hainan Airlines will deploy the Airbus A330-300 for these operations.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said: ‘It’s great to see our partners at Hainan Airlines grow their presence at Edinburgh Airport and maintain that crucial direct connectivity between Scotland and China.

‘We know there is a continued attractiveness and allure of Scotland as an international destination, and that is acutely felt in China where our stunning scenery, our world-renowned food and drink, and our well sought after educational institutions are all highly regarded. These additional flights will also offer people in Scotland more opportunities to experience China and increase the potential for closer working and investment prospects for businesses both at home and abroad.’

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: ‘The return and increased capacity of this direct route connecting Beijing to Edinburgh is further evidence of the undeniable demand for our world famous offering. Scotland is perfectly placed to benefit from increased interest from Chinese visitors who are often looking for unique and exciting experiences the whole family can enjoy.

‘We know that making it as easy as possible for people to come here makes Scotland a more enticing destination. Overseas holidaymakers tend to stay longer and spend more. They are an increasingly important part of the visitor economy, helping to attract investment, create jobs and sustain communities.’

The extended flight schedule is slated to operate from May 17 to October 26, 2024, with services on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays during peak summer. Additionally, flights will run on Mondays and Fridays during other periods, providing a consistent and accessible link between Edinburgh and Beijing throughout the specified timeframe.

WestJet launches two new Canadian routes from Edinburgh Airport

WestJet has announced the launch of two additional routes from Edinburgh.

The Canadian airline will now connect the Scottish capital with Toronto and Halifax, alongside its existing Calgary route, opening up convenient access to various Canadian destinations through convenients connections. This marks the first direct flight from Edinburgh to Halifax. With these additional Canadian flights, Edinburgh Airport is set to host more North American flights than ever before.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘WestJet’s decision to make Edinburgh Airport its home in Scotland is incredibly exciting, especially as they grow their presence in Scotland’s capital, and we look forward to working with them to make these routes a success.

‘The three cities offer vastly different things and it’s that rich history, the mix of cultures and stunning scenery that makes Canada one of the most exciting destinations anywhere in the world.’

WestJet’s new Calgary to Edinburgh (YYC-EDI) route will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with flight times from 1815 to 0910, spanning from May 12 to October 25. The return leg, EDI to YYC (Calgary), is scheduled for Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, departing from 1110 to 1229, and running from May 13 to October 26.

For the Halifax to Edinburgh (YHZ-EDI) route, flights run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, departing from 2240 to 0804, covering the period from June 20 to September 3. The return, EDI to YHZ (Halifax), is available on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with flight times from 0930 to 1138, operating between June 21 and September 4.

The Toronto to Edinburgh (YYZ-EDI) route runs daily, with flights departing from 2215 to 1005, operating from May 14 to October 12. The reverse route, EDI to YYZ (Toronto), also operates daily, with flight times from 1125 to 1359, spanning from May 15 to October 13.

Daniel Fajardo, Vice-President, Network and Schedule Planning, WestJet said: ‘WestJet is proud to grow upon our valued partnership with Edinburgh International Airport. This summer, WestJet will offer non-stop service to Edinburgh from Calgary, Toronto and Halifax and we are confident this enhanced connectivity between Edinburgh and three major Canadian hubs will further strengthen the two-way business and tourism pipeline between Canada and Scotland.’

easyJet adds new summer routes to Catania and Antalya from Edinburgh

easyJet, the UK-based regional airline, has announced the launch of two new routes from Edinburgh Airport – to Catania in Italy, and to Antalya in Turkey – for summer 2023.

The new Catania service will operate up to twice a week on Mondays and Fridays throughout the summer, while services to Antalya will operate twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Both routes will provide customers in Scotland with more choice when planning their summer getaway.

The new routes also allow holidaymakers from Edinburgh to explore Catania or Antalya with easyJet holidays. Seats are available to book with fares from £31.99 for this summer.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said: ‘We are delighted to be welcoming the arrival of our ninth aircraft in Edinburgh today and to be celebrating the launch of our new summer routes to Catania and Antalya, which is a testament to our continued success and commitment to our customers by providing greater choice and direct connectivity to more of the fantastic destinations Europe has to offer, for what will be our biggest ever summer in Scotland.

‘We are proud to be the largest airline in Scotland and the expansion of our fleet and strengthening of our network at Edinburgh demonstrates our confidence in the resilient strength of demand for travel in the UK, with customers choosing us for our trusted brand, unrivalled network and great value fares and we can’t wait to welcome more customers on board.’

Kate Sherry, Chief Commercial Officer (Aero) said: ‘It’s great to see the new routes to Catania and Antalya commence as both offer something very different to our passengers, ensuring we are offering choice of destination and experience where we can. We love to provide excitement to and a sense of adventure to people looking to get away and we know offering them a variety of destinations is something that provides that.

‘The basing of another aircraft at Edinburgh to expand easyJet’s presence to nine at Scotland’s airport really demonstrates the airline’s commitment to growth in the capital. We are always looking to use the latest aircraft with the most modern technology and four A320s delivers that, and we look forward to working with each other to provide more choice for passengers where we can.’

easyJet has also introduced an additional aircraft to its base at Edinburgh Airport, to serve demand. With the arrival of the new 186-seat Airbus A320, easyJet will now base nine A320 aircraft at Edinburgh Airport.

UK holidaymakers look for memory-making family trips to save money

According to research conducted by London North Eastern Railway (LNER), family leisure trips, memory-making experiences and time spent together really matter for nine in 10 families, who are looking for summer savings to offset rising cost of living.

The online survey conducted for LNER by UK parenting network Mumsnet, showed that 91 per cent of people agree that leisure trips are important for bonding and making memories, leading to 85 per cent looking for deals.

London tops the list of places families want to visit most along the 900-mile LNER network, followed by York and Edinburgh. The Northumberland coast, Newcastle, Leeds, Harrogate and Lincoln also feature among the top ten destinations.

On the choice of destinations, 82 per cent of people opted for a coastal escape, while 76 per cent were looking to visit organised attractions.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty also proved popular destinations with 63 per cent of respondents, along with visits to towns and cities to make the most of the cultural, tourism and shopping scene.

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: ‘At LNER we’ve been welcoming more people back to travel with us faster than any other train company in Britain. We want to help even more people take advantage of ways to save money for a great value getaway. From booking direct to enjoying some of the many free experiences and attractions at the fantastic selection of destinations we serve, there’s many ways people can save money and have a low-cost, highly memorable trip away.’

Justine Roberts, CEO and founder of Mumsnet, said: ‘We know from Mumsnet users that spending quality time together is one of the most important elements of family life. With the cost of living rising and parents therefore budgeting harder, getting the best value for money possible will be more important than ever for those considering a family day out.’

Around 42 per cent of respondents said that day trips will replace some of their long breaks as a way of saving money. LNER’s Family Return tickets offer fixed price travel for up to two adults and four children between a variety of destinations, with fares starting from £49 for the whole group.

Customers who plan ahead and book direct via the LNER website or app are able to secure Advance fares with no booking fee. There are also savings for those with Railcards offering up to a third off and by joining LNER’s loyalty scheme LNER Perks, members can earn £5 credit for signing up and two per cent credit back on each LNER journey.

United Airlines to resume US services from Edinburgh in 2022

Edinburgh Airport has announced that United Airlines will be returning to Scotland with direct flights from Edinburgh to New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. set to resume next year.

The airline will resume its year-round daily nonstop service between Edinburgh and New York/Newark from March 5, 2022 before season services to Chicago O’Hare and Washington D.C. resume on May 7, 2022.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said: ‘It’s incredibly exciting to be resuming our transatlantic services with United to allow direct travel between Scotland and the USA for the first time in two years. It will allow families to reunite, friends to reconnect and re-open the strong tourism destinations on both sides of the Atlantic.’

Bob Schumacher, United’s Director of Sales U.K. and Ireland said: ‘We are delighted to return to Scotland in 2022 and resume nonstop services from Edinburgh to the United States. With the return of services, our customers in Edinburgh can once again take advantage of direct connections to the U.S., as well as an unrivalled route network from United’s hubs at New York/Newark, Chicago and Washington, D.C., offering convenient nonstop connections to 129 destinations across the Americas.’

United Airlines will be the first airline to resume services between Scotland and the United States. The year-round daily nonstop service from Edinburgh to New York/Newark and seasonal daily nonstop services from Edinburgh to Chicago O’Hare and Washington D.C. will be operated on Boeing 757-200 aircraft, featuring a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United Polaris business class and 153 in economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

WestJet to start operating from Edinburgh Airport next year

Canadian airline WestJet is planning to start operations from Edinburgh Airport next year, offering a three times weekly service to Toronto.

The new service is set to begin on June 2, 2022 and will depart Edinburgh for Toronto on Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays on a Boeing 737 Max.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said: ‘We know there is huge interest in North America and Canada in particular, so welcoming a fantastic airline like WestJet to Edinburgh Airport is hugely exciting and we are glad to welcome them to Scotland’s capital.

‘People are beginning to plan those family reunions and longed for holidays so we hope new additions where possible will held to satisfy that demand, and the route will also present a great opportunity to strengthen business links.

‘We look forward to welcoming WestJet to Edinburgh and showing off our fantastic capital city and everything else that Scotland has to offer.’

John Weatherill, WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer said: ‘We’re looking forward to welcoming Edinburgh to our international network and strengthening travel and tourism ties between our two countries.

‘Whether travellers are looking to discover Edinburgh’s enchanting castles and cobbled streets or exploring the vibrance of Toronto and beyond, we’re committed to continuing to introduce new destinations and routes to our network.’

WestJet’s plan to establish a base in Edinburgh will expand the connections that the Scottish capital city has with North America, with more transatlantic carriers expected to resume services next year.

easyJet launches first flight from Bournemouth to Belfast

easyJet has announced the launch of its new service between Bournemouth and Belfast, marking the launch of more convenient connectivity this summer between the South of England and cities across the UK.

The flight to Belfast is the first of two new domestic easyJet routes from Bournemouth launching this summer, the other being Edinburgh, which launched on May 27. Both routes will operate twice weekly, with Belfast on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Edinburgh operating on Thursdays and Sundays throughout the summer season, with fares starting from £40.99 per person.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager said: ‘We are delighted to have operated the first flight today and to be increasing our services from Bournemouth Airport. With the addition of the two new summer routes from Bournemouth, our customers now have more travel choices in the region for those looking to take a long-awaited summer break.’

Steve Gill, Managing Director at Bournemouth Airport, said: ‘The launch of domestic air connectivity between the South of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland is a milestone moment for Bournemouth Airport. The long-awaited return to flying is wonderful news for business and leisure passengers, giving a boost to the regional economy and enabling holidaymakers to take welcome ‘staycation’ breaks in Bournemouth, Belfast and Edinburgh – some of the UK’s most popular destinations.’

easyJet customers will now be able to change their flights this summer without a change fee, at any time up to two hours before departure, or request a voucher. There are no restrictions on dates or destination; customers can transfer to any flights currently on sale up to the end of September 2022, and to any other destination on the airline’s network which spans 35 countries across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Loganair announces new Scotland-Wales flight service

Loganair, the UK’s largest regional airline, has launched its new service between Edinburgh and Cardiff, starting August 2.

Flights will be operated on Loganair’s 49-seat Embraer 145 regional jets, with prices on the 1hr 25 min trip starting at £49.99 one way including taxes and charges. Tickets are now on sale, and all Loganair fares include a free checked baggage allowance.

The direct flights – five per week in each direction – represent the last major route to be restored by Loganair and other carriers, reintroducing the domestic connectivity lost when Flybe collapsed in March 2020. The flights will operate on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday. The Cardiff service adds to the eight others already flown from Edinburgh by Loganair, including Southampton, Newquay and the Isle of Man.

Kay Ryan, Loganair’s chief commercial officer, said: ‘I know many of our customers – both business and leisure – have been waiting for this service to resume, and we are very pleased to be able to add Cardiff to our Edinburgh roster.

‘Importantly, these services fill gaps left by the collapse of Flybe, with almost every lost domestic destination now being restored by Loganair and other carriers over the coming months.’

Kate Sherry, aviation director at Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘We’re excited to be reconnecting the capitals of Scotland and Wales, a route which will allow family members to reunite as well as enable people to enjoy a well-earned break in Edinburgh and Cardiff. It’s been an extremely tough period and we know people are looking forward to enjoying some time away from home, and this is further good news as the airport looks to provide those opportunities for our passengers. Loganair is a valued partner and its confidence in Edinburgh Airport is welcome now and going forward.’

Spencer Birns, CEO at Cardiff Airport said: ‘We’re pleased that Loganair has stepped in to re-establish a vital connection between Wales and Scotland with a regular Cardiff-Edinburgh service. Customers will once again be able to fly easily for business and to visit friends and family, as well as have the opportunity to travel for a well-earned city break or to explore Scotland’s beautiful scenery.

‘It is a top priority for us to re-instate routes lost as a result of the pandemic, and we are delighted that Scotland’s airline has announced this essential service for our customers, increasing regional connectivity from Wales. We look forward to working closely with the Loganair team going forward.’

Loganair has a comprehensive FlySafe protocol in place requiring all customers, unless medically exempt, to wear face coverings; social distancing through boarding and disembarkation; and additional aircraft cleaning and sanitisation between every flight. These protocols will remain in place for as long as reasonably required through public health precautions, it said.

Further, Loganair’s FlexProtect programme allows customers to change their bookings or obtain a refund, if there is a change in Government legislation or rules that affects their travel plan.

easyJet announces new summer routes from Bournemouth to Belfast and Edinburgh

easyJet has announced two new domestic routes from Bournemouth to Belfast and Edinburgh, offering customers in the Dorset region more domestic connections this summer to book a UK summer break.

The new flights will operate up to twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays to Belfast from May 26, and on Thursdays and Sundays to Edinburgh, with flights scheduled to take off from May 27, 2021 and continue throughout the summer. Flights are now on sale at easyJet.com with fares available from £22.99.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager said: ‘We’re delighted to offer two new domestic services from Bournemouth to Belfast and Edinburgh for the first time and are pleased to provide our customers in the region more choice for those looking for a long-awaited summer break. We remain committed to offering great value fares and more choice when for customer flying with us.

‘Our Protection Promise means that customers can book with confidence knowing that if they are unable to travel or their plans change so can their flights or holiday, and while the summer may be a little while off, we will be working around the clock to ensure we will be ready to ramp up our flights to reconnect friends and family or take them on long-awaited holiday to remember.’

Steve Gill, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, said: ‘The addition of Edinburgh and Belfast with easyJet rounds off an exciting week for Bournemouth Airport and the Dorset region, following the launch of our 2021-22 summer/winter schedule which now includes 32 destinations in 14 countries. We’re delighted to extend our flying programme with easyJet, with domestic routes in high demand for staycations and business links, all with the ease and convenience of flying from your local airport.’

easyJet and easyJet holidays have introduced flexible customer policies under a ‘Protection Promise’. This includes a Refund Guarantee for flights or holidays if they are cancelled plus a full refund for holidays if a customer changes their plan up to 28 days before. With the Travel Ban Protection customers can also receive a refund for non-cancelled flights if plans are impacted by travel bans in a regional or national lockdown; the Freedom To Change flights without a fee up to 14 days before departure, and change a holiday up to 28 days before departure. If quarantine measures come in to place last minute, the Quarantine Assurance also means impacted flights can be changed without a change fee. All holidays are covered under easyJet holidays’ Covid commitments if holidays cannot happen or are impacted by restrictions.

easyJet announces new domestic route from Birmingham to Edinburgh

easyJet, the UK-based European regional airline, has announced a new route between Birmingham and Edinburgh.

The new domestic city connection will operate 13 times a week throughout the year, with flights launching on March 29, 2020. Over 180,000 passengers are expected to use the new service during the first 12 months of operation. Seats are due to go on sale in the coming weeks.

This is the second new Birmingham route that easyJet has announced recently – the airline will operate a new service to Glasgow which will start services on the same date, with the same weekly frequency as the new service to Edinburgh.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said: ‘We are delighted to be announcing another new route from Birmingham today and another connection to Scotland.

‘It is the second route to Scotland in as many weeks and underlines our commitment to providing domestic services and expanding our offering for customers from the Midlands.

‘We are confident the new service will be a popular addition to easyJet’s network with those looking to travel both for business and leisure.’

Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport said: ‘It is great news that easyJet is announcing a fourth route from Birmingham Airport just a couple of weeks after announcing its third route to Glasgow. This new route complements the existing Geneva and Belfast destinations.

‘It is important that our passengers have a wide selection of destinations to choose from, as well as a frequency of flights to suit their needs. With the new route to Edinburgh, we now have two connections to Scotland with easyJet, both operating 13 times a week. Scotland is a popular destination not only for tourists but business passengers too, and we look forward to welcoming the additional services from March 2020.’