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Edinburgh - Toronto first route for new Canadian Airline

Air Canada rouge, Air Canada's new leisure airline has chosen Edinburgh as one of the first routes that the new airline will fly, unveiling today (Tuesday) a new route between the Scottish capital and Toronto commencing in July 2013.

This sees an air link between the two cities for the first time since 2009 and will initially fly for the summer season.

Toronto is not only an attractive destination in its own right, but a hub airport that opens Scotland up to the entire Air Canada network.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport, said: "I've always believed that Scotland and Canada should be better served with air links and its fitting that Air Canada's new airline should launch its first services from Edinburgh.

"Our airlines tell us that they prosper at Scotland’s busiest airport and I’m confident that Air Canada Rouge will be no different. They'll find, as others have, that our operations, our commercial understanding and our partnership working sets us apart from other airports and ensures success.

"Add to that Team Scotland pulling together in supporting us win new business to Scotland then we understand why Air Canada rouge chose Edinburgh.

"In the 6 months since Edinburgh Airport came under new ownership we've worked hard to provide our passengers with an increasing choice of routes and a fantastic experience. So it's good to welcome Air Canada rouge on board to help us with this."

Minister for Transport and Veterans, Keith Brown, welcomed the news. Mr Brown said: "This is great news for Edinburgh and Scotland. Canada is an important market for Scotland and the Edinburgh service will complement existing Canadian services out of Glasgow. Scotland's airports, together with the Scottish Government's agencies, have been actively promoting Scotland to the Canadian carrier. These efforts have been rewarded by seeing the new carrier operating to Edinburgh from July next year. We hope and expect that this service will be a resounding success and will be the start of building the long and successful association with Scotland.

"The Scottish Government will continue to work with Scotland's airports to improve Scotland's overall connectivity and for a speedy devolution of APD for the benefit of all concerned."

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, campaigned hard for the route. He said: "Our understanding is that 30% of Canadians prefer to use Air Canada to access Scotland so this is significant opportunity for Scotland to exploit as we approach 2014 when Scotland welcomes the world."