Scotland to China flights go live

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The first ever direct flight between Scotland and China has landed at Edinburgh Airport, in a move claimed set to give a major boost for tourism.

The four-weekly, year-round service with Hainan Airlines to Beijing Capital International Airport is Scotland’s first air connection to the Far East.

Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “We know Edinburgh is second only to London for Chinese tourists, and we are eager to welcome more people to our fantastic capital city, but it’s also about connecting people from Scotland to Beijing and wider China thanks to Hainan’s hub network.

“Hainan is one of the world’s most prestigious airlines and we are proud to be working with them.

“This is something the city has worked towards for a number of years and we are delighted to see this day finally arrive.”

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: “This first direct service from China to Edinburgh represents a gear change for Scottish tourism and further cements Scotland’s reputation as a world-class destination.

“Through our ongoing work with key Chinese tour operators we have seen visitor itineraries extending over the years.

“Bringing visitors from China directly into the heart of Scotland will create greater opportunities for tourism businesses right across the country, as visitors stay longer and explore further.”

The route will be serviced by an Airbus A330-300 and includes a stopover in Dublin.

On Tuesdays and Saturdays the flight arrives into Edinburgh from Beijing at 0600 and departs for Dublin at 0800, and then on to Beijing.

On Thursdays and Sundays the flight arrives into Edinburgh from Dublin at 0910 before departing for Beijing at 1110.