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Capital air links set to soar

12 new flights to take off over next five days.

Edinburgh Airport's fast growing international route network is set to soar this week, just in time for Easter and the launch of the new summer programme.

Over the next five days, a dozen new services will take off from Edinburgh Airport in a massive expansion of international services from the capital.

As airports continue to feel the effects of the recession, the capital's airport is fighting back with new flights to Spain, Italy, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Malta and Croatia.

Europe's largest low cost airline Ryanair will launch 10 of the 12 new flights launching this week to Bologna, Cagliari, Carcassonne, Leipzig (Altenburg), Limoges, Malta, Rome (Ciampino), Palma, Poitiers and Zadar (Croatia).

Two new links to Copenhagen will also launch this week, operated by Cimber Sterling and Norwegian. Danish carrier Cimber Sterling will serve Copenhagen three times a week, while Norwegian Air Shuttle will serve the city twice weekly. Norwegian already operates successful flights to Oslo and is set to increase frequency on the popular route, with up to five flight flights a week.

The end of March traditionally heralds the start of the busy summer season. With a further five new services, operated by Jet2, launching in May – to Sardinia, Ibiza, Venice, Crete and Dusseldorf – Edinburgh Airport will offer flights to more than 100 worldwide destinations this summer.

Gordon Dewar, Managing Director of Edinburgh Airport, said: "This is a difficult and challenging time for the airline industry, and for many airports. Edinburgh Airport is not immune to these pressures. However, we have been working hard over the past few months to attract new airlines and develop the capital's international route network. Despite the recession, 17 new international services will take off from Edinburgh this summer, including a dozen this week alone.

"This is a tremendous vote of confidence in the capital and in the city's reputation as a business and leisure destination. As well as offering more choice for outbound visitors, this expansion is good news for the region's billion pound tourism industry, particularly in the year of Homecoming."

Barbara Smith, Chair of Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) said: "Direct air links are enormously important to the tourism industry in Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland."

"The announcement of these new services is especially welcome given the tough economic challenges we are all facing. "With the current strength of the Euro we very much hope that they will mean even more European visitors coming to the city to enjoy all it has to offer and make the most of the Scottish Government's 2009 Year of Homecoming."