United Airlines has launched non-stop service between Edinburgh and its Chicago hub, O’Hare International Airport.
It is the first scheduled non-stop service between the two cities and will operate during until October 6th, 2014.
The frequency of the service is five times weekly until June 12th, daily between June 13th and September 2nd and four times weekly between September 3rd and October 6th.
Jake Cefolia, United vice president Atlantic & Pacific Sales, was joined by Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Scotland deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities, and Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Edinburgh Airport to inaugurate the first flight.
Sturgeon said: “I’m delighted to mark the launch of this direct service between Edinburgh and Chicago, a link that highlights the strong relationship between Scotland and the United States.
“This service will provide real benefits to Scotland’s economy, encouraging more tourism, trade and investment by reducing the need for travellers to make connecting flights via London or the continent.
“By cutting rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD) – a move which is widely backed by the aviation industry, but something we don’t currently have the power to do—we could attract more direct flights like this to Scotland.