Scotland’s largest airport will today (Thursday) announce the launch of a new £15m
route development fund, to drive competition and bring new airlines and new routes
Speaking to an audience of Scottish business leaders at an SCDI event in Edinburgh
on Thursday night, airport Chief Executive Gordon Dewar announced the creation of
the fund and his desire to bring Edinburgh’s public and private sector together to
promote the capital and the airport around the world.
Since taking ownership of Edinburgh Airport in June 2012, the new airport
management team, with the support of owners Global Infrastructure Partners, has
prioritised the development of Edinburgh’s route network.
New agreements have been reached with easyJet and Ryanair, a new Turkish Airlines
route to Istanbul is flourishing and Brussels Airlines, Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic
have all announced new routes.
These successes mean that Edinburgh Airport will offer Scottish passengers choice
from an unprecedented 130 routes this summer.
It is widely understood that developing new routes cannot be left solely to the
airport and Edinburgh Airport is clear that there is a role for the city’s public and
private sector to play.
Recent experience says that airlines value support from civic and business leaders,
which provides additional market confidence at the beginning of a new route and
which can often be the single factor that determines whether airlines come to
Edinburgh or go elsewhere.
The airport will therefore be working closely with city partners: the Council, the
Chamber of Commerce and others to explore how we work collaboratively to
promote Edinburgh to the world’s airlines.
Gordon Dewar said; "Creating new routes in and out of Edinburgh Airport is one of
our core activities. We came to Edinburgh last summer focused on building
Scotland’s connections with the world. The deals with easyJet and Ryanair alone will
see almost 16 million passengers pass through Edinburgh Airport over the next five
"But we are hungry for more success, and will work hard to take business from other
Scottish airports and from our European competitors. To fuel that competitive
effort, we will invest £15m a year underwriting new direct routes for Edinburgh,
sharing the commercial risk with airlines; it is simply putting our money where our
"We believe that in doing so we send a powerful message to international airlines –
we’re going to be the place where Scotland meets the world so come here and we
will work harder than anybody else to deliver you long-term success.
"We can’t do this alone but be in no doubt, we will lead on the commercial deal, but
any business with a significant stake in a new route should be thinking: how can I
potentially make a difference?
"In the coming weeks and months, we will approach city businesses to listen. We
want to know which markets are important and what the value might be to
Edinburgh, and those individual businesses, or new routes into Europe, the Middle
East or North America.
"I am confident that Edinburgh Airport will grow and our route network will soon be
the envy of many European airports. We will compete hard and we will compete
fairly; importantly, we’ll do that as one team and one city."
Details of the route development strategy will be announced over coming months as
the £15m fund is targeted.