easyJet, Scotland's largest airline, has today (Thursday August 30) announced a major expansion for Edinburgh Airport which will bring more than 100 jobs to the region. The airline will bring in an additional two aircraft increasing the number of planes it bases at the Scottish capital from five to seven.
The first Airbus A319 is scheduled to arrive on 2 December 2012 with the second plane commencing operations in March 2013. As well as creating more than 100 jobs directly, many more will be created indirectly in a move which will help the Scottish economy further by boosting connectivity for both the tourism industry and the business community.
The two additional aircraft will enable the airline to increase the number of routes it operates from the capital, offering an additional 180,000 new seats for travellers. The new routes are scheduled to be announced in October, following a period of engagement with a range of Scottish partners including VisitScotland and Marketing Edinburgh.
Commenting on the expansion, Hugh Aitken, easyJet's Head of Scotland, said:
"The decision to base a further two aircraft in Edinburgh is testament to the importance of Scotland to easyJet's operation. The new management team at Edinburgh Airport fully understands the importance of growth and connectivity for the airport and Scotland as a whole.
"The arrival of the two new aircraft from December will deliver over 180,000 new seats. We are asking key partners to work with us to determine which new destinations to launch and look forward to working with Edinburgh Airport and others over the coming month to finalise our plans."
Alex Salmond, First Minster, said:
"The announcement that easyJet is set to base two further aircraft at Edinburgh airport is fantastic news for Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole.
"The company's commitment to create more than 100 jobs in Edinburgh is a significant vote of confidence for the city and its airport, as well as offering a boost to the wider local and national economy with many thousands of extra passengers now due to arrive in Scotland.
"The Scottish Government is absolutely determined to ensure that Scotland's airports are able to increase their connectivity to key international markets such as those served by easyJet.
"That is why I am delighted to welcome the increased capacity announced today by one of the leading players in the airline business."
Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport, said:
"Today's announcement from easyJet is hugely significant for Edinburgh Airport. It demonstrates that we are willing to do business with airlines that are ambitious for growth and delivering great service for their passengers. Our partnership with easyJet is based on these central values and we're looking forward to working with them in bringing planes and new routes to Scotland."
In the 12 months to end December 2011, easyJet carried over 4 million passengers across its four Scottish airports - Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.
easyJet currently serves 24 destinations and has flown 2.5 million passengers in and out of Edinburgh in the past 12 months.
Current destinations from Edinburgh include key business routes to London, where easyJet flies to London Gatwick, London Stansted and London Luton as part of its commitment to keep the Scottish business community connected to London. Popular leisure routes to Dalaman, Naples, Athens, Tenerife and Grenoble have also been introduced in the past 12 months.