The Emirates airline is to begin direct flights from Edinburgh Airport to Dubai from October, in a move predicted to greatly increase easy access to Mid-East destinations.
The new year-round service will launch at the same time as Etihad’s Abu Dhabi route is ditched - and is claimed set to “maintain and strengthen” access from Scotland to key Mid-East destinations and beyond.
Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “The route enhances our connectivity to the Middle East and further afield as we access that long-haul network, giving us greater access and choice than ever before.
“The service caters for leisure and business passengers, providing daily links for international tourism and trade opportunities both inbound and outbound, and will help our growth and international standing as a world class hub”.
Hubert Frach, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president, commercial operations, West, said: “We’re increasing our capacity to Scotland to meet growing demand, and by introducing a daily flight to Edinburgh, it will complement our current double daily flights between Dubai and Glasgow.
“Edinburgh is a very popular leisure and business destination, and the new service will offer our customers from across our global network, particularly from key inbound markets such as Asia and Australia, a direct option to the city via our Dubai hub”.
Transport secretary Humza Yousaf said: “This new route is excellent news, increasing Scotland’s connectivity and helping to promote the country around the globe.
“It will give Scottish businesses even better access to global markets, thanks to the number of onward destinations on offer from Dubai.
“It also means that the rising number of tourists looking to visit Scotland will have even more options when it comes to experiencing our world-famous hospitality”.
The Emirates Boeing 777-300ER will be in a three class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 304 “spacious” seats in Economy Class.
Flight EK023 will depart Dubai daily at 09.55hrs and arrive in Edinburgh at 14.50hrs, while the return flight, EK024 will depart Edinburgh at 20.15hrs and arrive in Dubai at 06.40hrs the next morning.