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Direct route from Edinburgh to Chicago announced for May 2014

Scottish passengers will soon be able to fly direct from Edinburgh to Chicago after United Airlines announced today that it will launch the first service between the two cities in May next year.

The new service to Chicago O'Hare will fly from May until the beginning of October and start with five flights per week from 23 May until 12 June. It will then move to a daily service until 02 September before changing to four times per week until 06 October.

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, said: "I'm delighted that United Airlines has decided to invest in a new route and enhance its existing service between Scotland and the USA. By improving direct routes overseas, we can help reduce the need for travellers to make extra connecting flights via London or the continent, support tourism, trade and investment and so further strengthen Scotland's economy.

"The eyes of the world will be on Scotland in 2014 and, as we host international sporting stars at the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup and celebrate another Year of Homecoming, we hope to welcome visitors from across the world, not least from the United States with whom we share strong and enduring bonds."

Welcoming the announcement, Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: "The announcement of this direct route to Chicago is a fantastic validation of Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole.

"We are delighted to have played our part in developing this route with the other agencies and Government departments that make up ‘Team Scotland'. This collaborative approach works and we look forward to bringing many more international routes to Edinburgh in the coming months."