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New link between Edinburgh and Philadelphia launching this weekend

Airport Chairman and Transport Minister welcome new route to Scotland at City lunch

A brand new direct link between Edinburgh and one of America’s most historic cities will launch this weekend – strengthening the connection between the two countries and further opening Scotland up to the world.

From Saturday (24 May), US Airways will fly a daily direct service to Philadelphia. This is the first time this route has been served from Edinburgh and offers Scottish passengers the chance to visit the city and take full advantage of the amazing connectivity to over 1000 destinations across America.

Before Saturday’s official launch, the occasion was marked today with a celebratory lunch in Edinburgh’s city centre with Sir John Elvidge, Chairman of Edinburgh Airport, Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP and Clive Cook, Managing Director of Airports UK and Ireland for American Airlines who discussed the launch, the merger of US Airways and American Airlines and the exciting plans for the airlines’ future in Scotland.

The new daily service offers excellent flight times with the outward journey departing from Edinburgh at 10:40am and arriving into Philadelphia at 12:50pm (local time). Flights from Philadelphia will depart at 20:50 and arrive into Edinburgh at 08:40 (local time).

Sir John Elvidge, Chairman Edinburgh Airport, said: "We’re delighted to welcome US Airways into the Edinburgh Airport family and congratulate them on their inaugural flight to Philadelphia. This new daily service, the first of its kind from Edinburgh, marks the start of a new partnership with US Airways and one we’re confident will be hugely popular with passengers on both sides of the Atlantic.

"A direct route to Philadelphia will not only give Scots the opportunity to visit one of America’s most historic cities, but fantastic options for onward travel, with hundreds of destinations available on both east and west coasts or in Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. This summer will also be a hugely exciting time to visit Scotland, with the Ryder Cup and Homecoming likely to draw huge numbers of American visitors."

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "Scotland has an enduring bond with the United States and the launch of this new direct service between Edinburgh and Philadelphia will only serve to strengthen that relationship.

"This new service will help build stronger business and tourism links between the two countries by reducing the need for travellers to take extra connecting flights via London or the continent, making Scotland an even more attractive destination.

"We could attract more direct international flights to Scotland by cutting rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD), something that we don’t currently have the power to do but which is widely backed by the aviation industry itself.

"As the eyes of the world turn to Scotland in 2014, we look forward to welcoming visitors from the United States for our exciting programme of events which includes the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and a second Year of Homecoming."

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