easyJet today announced six new routes in an expansion plan which will result in the creation of around 160 new jobs along with an estimated 500 indirect jobs in Scotland. Increasing the number of planes it bases in the capital from five to seven, re-affirms easyJet’s commitment to improving connectivity for Scotland.
Tourism is crucial to the Scottish economy and the six new routes will bring in almost 140,000 more passengers which will benefit the economy by almost £90m.
The six new routes, which take the total number easyJet serves to 30, have been decided following a thorough consultation with VisitScotland, Marketing Edinburgh and the Scottish business community. Key German destinations Berlin and Hamburg will be served alongside popular city breaks such as Prague, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Dubrovnik which will be available on the new schedule. All of the new cities will help to keep the Scottish business community connected with Europe.
Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh 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 easyJet 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."
Hugh Aitken, easyJet's Head of Scotland, added:
"easyJet's new routes have been selected to boost both inbound and outbound business and leisure travellers. The two new aircraft mean that we, along with our ground handler, are able to create 160 jobs in Scotland as well as hundreds more which will be created through increased tourism. 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."
easyJet will be the only airline to operate flights between Edinburgh and Berlin and will add competition on the Prague route. This will be the first time Iceland will be served all year around from Edinburgh.
The first Airbus A319 is scheduled to arrive on 2 December 2012 with the second plane commencing operations in March 2013.
In the 12 months to end June 2012, easyJet carried over 4.5million passengers across its four Scottish airports – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. easyJet will now serve 30 destinations in and out of Edinburgh and offers up to 68 flights a day between Scotland and London.
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.