easyJet is launching six new routes in an expansion plan which will result in the creation of around 160 new jobs along with an estimated 500 indirect jobs in Scotland.
Increasing the number of planes it bases in the capital from five to seven, the new routes will bring in almost 140,000 more passengers which will benefit the economy by almost £90m.
Key German destinations Berlin and Hamburg will be served alongside popular city breaks such as Prague, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Dubrovnik which will be available on the new schedule. All of the new cities will help to keep the Scottish business community connected with Europe.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The new direct links with some of the world’s most exciting destinations will open up fresh inward investment opportunities and strengthen existing ties with the likes of Germany and Scandinavia. This is a major endorsement and vote of confidence in Edinburgh and Scotland, and we are working behind the scenes to deliver even more direct routes.
“International interest in Scotland has arguably never been greater and a number of these locations are on VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise’s wish lists in terms of target markets. People from across the world are eagerly anticipating what Scotland has to offer, and with the likes of the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming all fast approaching I fully expect that level of interest to increase.
“These new easyJet routes are also a major boost to our tourism sector, which is worth £11 billion to our economy and employs 270,000 people. Attracting more direct flights to and from Scotland helps deliver cheaper fares for the public and reduces the need for extra connecting flights through London.”
Hugh Aitken, easyJet’s Head of Scotland, added: “easyJet’s new routes have been selected to boost both inbound and outbound business and leisure travellers. The two new aircraft mean that we, along with our ground handler, are able to create 160 jobs in Scotland as well as hundreds more which will be created through increased tourism. We will also be increasing our frequencies and the number of routes we are able to operate.
“I’m confident our new 2013 schedule will really appeal to people travelling to and from Scotland both on business and for leisure and will further bolster Edinburgh’s world-famous appeal for tourists.
“I would like to thank the Government on behalf of easyJet for its on-going support of our growth in the capital.”
The first Airbus A319 is scheduled to arrive on 2 December 2012 with the second plane commencing operations in March 2013.