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'My favourite city': Retiring United captain Joe Fox on why he chose EDI for his final flight

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After 27-years in the cockpit there was only one city United Airlines captain Joe Fox was choosing for his final flight.

Captain Fox this week retired after a career in aviation spanning more than four decades, selecting Edinburgh, his 'favourite city', for his final day on the job.

As a thank you for his service to Edinburgh Airport passengers, and to recognise his fantastic taste in cities, EDI presented the pilot with a special gift to mark his retirement.

The airport's Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer Gordon Robertson met Captain Fox to hand over a special print of the city ahead of his final flight, a service from EDI to Newark, on Thursday morning.

United captain Joe Fox with Gordon Robertson, Edinburgh Airport

Joe told how his love affair with Edinburgh stretches back more than 45 years, saying: "Edinburgh is very dear to my heart. When I was an exchange student in Nottingham back in 1978 I took many trips here. Hitchhiking up to Edinburgh, visiting the Highlands, seeing Loch Ness. I have great memories.

"It's my favourite city. I just love it here, it's got a great vibe. The past two and a half to three years I've flown Edinburgh a lot and it's been a real treat.

United captain Joe Fox and team

"I was blessed to bring my family with me on this last trip. We've had awesome weather. We visited Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill, we did the Castle, spent some time around the Royal Mile, and of course we visited a couple of pubs!"

His life as a pilot started in the US Air Force where he flew for two decades before joining United in 1997. After a career which saw him work at the airline's bases across the US - including in Los Angeles and Washington DC - Joe has been flying out of New York Newark for the past nine years.

Now living in Florida with his wife Lea - a former United Airlines pilot herself - and their five kids, including twins Andrew and Matthew who are both licenced pilots with ambitions of joining United.

He said: “It's been a great career, I'm so blessed and grateful.

"Today my last flight with United is going to be a special occasion. I'm so blessed to have been able to travel the world, to have been on every continent. It's been awesome.

"I have five kids and for the next year or so I'm going to spend more time with my kids and my family. I'm looking at more potential flying opportunities, part time maybe in the private or corporate world."

United captain Joe Fox with family

A spokesperson for United Airlines said:

"We express our deepest gratitude to Captain Fox for his 27 years of exceptional service and unwavering dedication as a pilot at United Airlines.

"We wish Captain Fox all the best on his new journey ahead.

"United has a proud history of serving Scotland, with this year marking our 20th anniversary flying from Edinburgh to New York/Newark."