New route between Edinburgh and China to take off in June
15 March 2018, 11:37
A new air link between Scotland and China has been launched by Edinburgh Airport.
Hainan Airlines is to operate the flights from the Scottish capital to Beijing four times a week from the summer onwards.
The service, on an Airbus A330-300, will begin on June 12 this year.
Airport bosses said it was part of an "innovative" flight model which connects the two cities and Dublin.
The service will fly from Beijing to Dublin and then onto Edinburgh and back to Beijing on Thursdays and Sundays.
It will go from Edinburgh to Dublin and then Beijing on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Airport bosses said it marks the culmination of more than three years' work to secure the routes.
Gordon Dewar, the chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: "This is a fantastic day for Edinburgh Airport and for Scotland as we connect Scotland and China for the first time.
"We are two countries steeped in history and rich in culture, offering new destinations for people from both countries to visit and explore.
"Edinburgh is second only to London as the most popular UK destination for Chinese tourists, and we have worked incredibly hard with partners across the city and country to get to this point."
Both the Scottish and UK Governments have welcomed the development.
Scotland's Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: "This new air link between Scotland and China is excellent news, helping to strengthen relations between our two countries and build on the cultural and economic links that we already share."
UK Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg added: "As a major market for Scotland's world class produce this is also a vote of confidence in the strong economic links between the UK and China, bringing our ambitious businesses and exporters even closer to their customers."