The capital cities of Scotland and the USA are now directly connected for the first time following the start of a new route between Edinburgh and Washington D.C.
United Airlines flight UA147 took off from Edinburgh this afternoon after an inaugural ceremony including music, cakes, gifts for passengers and bagpipes for a traditional Scottish welcome and send off.
The daily service to Washington Dulles will operate on a Boeing 757-200 and will depart Edinburgh at 1230, landing at 1530 local time. It will operate until the 4th of October.
The service connects Edinburgh to 63 North American destinations via United's Washington Dulles Airport hub, such as Orlando, Las Vegas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tampa and Denver. It also builds on United's year-round flights to New York Newark and a summer service to Chicago.
Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said:
'This fantastic addition to Edinburgh Airport will link our two capital cities for the first time and strengthen the already strong links between Scotland and America.
'We know that Edinburgh and Scotland are a huge draw for inbound tourists and we look forward to welcoming and showing them the fantastic sights and history that we have, and the allure of a dynamic city like Washington D.C and all of its landmarks will prove to be a popular with those passengers looking to experience the best of America. Business on both sides of the Atlantic will also benefit from increased access.
'We fly to more than 150 destinations worldwide and we're always looking to establish new direct links to destinations across the globe and offer greater choice to the 13.4 million people who travel through Scotland's busiest airport ever year.'
Bob Schumacher, United Managing Director Sales United Kingdom and Ireland, said:
'We are excited to inaugurate our nonstop seasonal service between Edinburgh and our Washington, D.C. hub, connecting the two capital cities for the very first time.
'Our new flight strengthens our international route network and provides our customers from Scotland with greater travel choice, with almost 70 nonstop connections from Washington, D.C. to other destinations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.'
Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, said:
'This route is great news for Edinburgh and Scotland, and will further strengthen the strong cultural, historical and economic bonds we share with the United States.
'Improving Scotland's direct international air links is one of the Scottish Government's key objectives which is why we are committed to supporting our airports and expanding the number of destinations they offer.
'Enhancing direct access to America will see Scotland's economy benefit through increased tourism, trade and investment. Not only is Washington a great destination in its own right but the new route will also connect passengers on to United's vast route network.'
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:
'We're delighted that United Airlines is expanding its network to Scotland with this new service from Washington DC to Edinburgh. This is great news for Scottish tourism, increasing links to our biggest international market, but is particularly exciting for the business events sector.
'With Washington DC considered the main hub for international associations in the States, and business tourism accounting for around 20% of all Scottish tourism, we hope this new route will increase opportunities for venues and properties across Scotland to host meetings and annual conferences of US-based international organisations.
'Scotland's strength in business sectors such as life sciences and renewables stands it in good stead to win the attention of related enterprises across the Atlantic.'
Corporate Press Officer - National
Business Events/Tourism, Scottish Thistle Awards, Film Tourism, Outer Hebrides
0131 472 2283
Out of hours - 0131 472 2324