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New Hub for Scotland as Inaugural Istanbul Flight Begins

Edinburgh Airport today (16 July 2012) received its inaugural flight from Turkish Airlines, linking the Scottish Capital with the iconic Turkish city of Istanbul. The new service will run four times a week with Turkish Airlines confident that the frequency will quickly change to daily flights given the popularity of Istanbul as a destination and transport hub.

As well as creating a direct link between Scotland and Turkey, this route also offers connectivity to a range of global destinations including Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Delhi, Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Narita and Osaka.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive at Edinburgh Airport, said: “This is a significant development for Edinburgh Airport and the wider city. It sets the tone for the new ownership of Scotland’s premier airport – greater global connectivity and working with major airline partner such as Turkish.

“Connectivity guides everything we do and this new route is doubly exciting because of the onward connection possibilities Istanbul offers.

“We’re committed to continuing to play our role in the Scottish economy by linking the capital to as many destinations as we can. As we face increased taxation and growth constraints in the UK, it is crucial that we secure further direct routes across Europe and beyond.”

Temel Kotil, CEO Turkish Airlines, said: “We are very happy to start flying from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, to more than 200 destinations around the world from today.

“Turkish Airlines scored a resounding success at the 2012 World Airline Awards, by Skytrax, with air travellers voting the airline as the Best Airline in Europe for the second year running. Following on from this prestigious title we are proud to announce our exciting new link with Edinburgh Airport. As part of our commitment to expansion throughout the UK, Edinburgh will increase our UK portfolio to five airports.

“Our priority is the comfort of our passengers. We have the best in-flight Economy Class meals for which Turkish Airlines has also won an award, ensuring our passengers a relaxing long haul journey to destinations such as Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai, Johannesburg, Karachi and Cape Town and beyond.”

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said: “The Scottish Government is determined to improve our international air connections with key global markets and this new service to Istanbul is a significant step forward in that respect.

“As well as providing direct access to Istanbul and the tourism and business opportunities offered by such a dynamic city, this service is also a gateway to worldwide destinations such as China and India.

“I am delighted to welcome Turkish Airlines to Scotland. As one of the largest airlines in the world, the fact they have chosen to fly from Edinburgh is an indication of the quality and calibre of airline Scotland is attracting and a major success story in our drive to maximise the economic benefits which direct air connections bring.”