A BUDGET airline is set to connect the Capital and Vienna after announcing a major expansion aimed at bringing an extra 150,000 passengers a year through Edinburgh Airport.
Jet2 will more than double its operation in the city, with 150 new jobs being created.
The firm will travel to four new destinations and offer eight other routes, single handedly growing passenger traffic by 1.5 per cent.
In total, 500,000 seats will go on sale to new destinations in Spain, Greece, Austria, Cyprus and Turkey, with flights starting from February 2016.
Flights will depart weekly for Gran Canaria, Kefalonia, Rhodes, Larnaca, Paphos, Antalya and Dalaman, while there will be twice-weekly connections to Vienna, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Iraklion and Zakynthos.
The announcement puts Edinburgh Airport on track to break its passenger record again next year, having smashed the symbolic ten million barrier last year and posting increased monthly figures in January, February and April this year.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays,
said: “It’s certainly exciting times for us at Edinburgh Airport.
“We’re giving people the opportunity to ‘jetaway’ with us to the Canary Islands, Greek islands and the eastern Mediterranean for the very first time, and our exclusive routes mean people in Scotland have some fantastic new places to visit.
“This huge expansion not only shows our commitment to and investment in the area but it also gives our loyal local customers even more choice and flexibility when it comes to their holiday planning for next year.
“We are thrilled that even more people will be able to experience our great value holidays and award-winning flights.”
Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “This is great news for Scottish passengers and marks the biggest growth for an airline and holiday company at Edinburgh Airport since we became an independent company.
“Excitingly, we’ll see the introduction of the first service between Edinburgh and Vienna which is a particularly important destination for us to serve.
“Not only will it offer leisure travellers great choice for city breaks, it opens up further trade and business links between Scotland and this major European hub.
“Such extensive growth is great news for both the Scottish economy and Scottish customers and highlights our attractiveness as the airport of choice for both passengers and airlines.”
Scottish Passenger Agents Association president Jimmy Martin said: “Members and clients will benefit hugely from this investment and expansion by one of our valued commercial partners.
“This development – expanding capacity and routes, backed by additional aircraft – will broaden choice and flexibility even further.”