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Edinburgh airport lands top spot for third year

Edinburgh Evening News - 12th June, 2013

Edinburgh’s main transport hub has been given the international seal of approval, with the facility named Europe’s best airport for the third year running.

The city was awarded the major plaudit in the five-10 million passenger class at Monday’s prestigious Airports Council International Europe awards in Istanbul.

The airport’s focus on its customer base and efforts to secure new routes were both singled out for praise.

Edinburgh beat seven other nominated European airports. Lyon in France and Esenboga International Airport in Turkey are previous winners in the category.

On the back of the success airport chiefs have revealed they are on the brink of handling one million passengers a month following a strong return to growth.

The airport has already achieved its busiest ever May, with international and domestic traffic rising by 11.8 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.

It is the first time in 12 months that travel through the airport from within and outside of Britain has climbed in a single month.

The result marks a significant shift in fortunes for airport owners Global Infrastructure Partners [GIP] since buying the transport hub in June last year.

Management were forced to deal with several difficult issues – including negotiating a new deal with budget airline Ryanair – and overcoming the loss of landing slots previously used by fellow carrier BMI.

Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “The last 12 months have been challenging following our change in ownership, but we have embraced change and not only have we welcomed a number of exciting new domestic and international routes, we’ve rolled out a completely new brand identity.”

A total of 906,679 passengers travelled through the airport last month – an overall increase of 7.4 per cent on the same period last year.

The rise has coincided with the start of new easyJet and Ryanair flights and the launch of Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red service operating between Edinburgh and London Heathrow six times a day.

Airport spokesman Gordon Robertson said officials at the award-winning airport were confident of carrying the recent growth into the traditionally tougher winter later this year.

He said topping one million passengers next month was a real possibility, adding: “The forecasts are looking good. We’re not complacent, we’re working hard, but hopefully we can make up for a bit of the poor start to the year and hopefully we can have our best year ever.”

The airport fell just 7000 passengers short of reaching the one-million mark for a month during 2011.

Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir said: “I spoke to officials from the airport just the other day and they’re incredibly optimistic about breaking that one-million barrier over the next month or so. It’s great news for the economy of Edinburgh and Scotland given the amount of business and tourism that’s heading our way.”

The gains come with airport owners having installed hi-tech cameras and automatic bag drops in recent months in efforts to slash queues and cut down on waiting times. GIP has also been in discussions with both Etihad and Qatar airways over the possibility of starting new flights from the Middle East into Edinburgh.
 

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New non-stop flight route links Edinburgh with Toronto

BBC News - 3rd July, 2013

The only non-stop flight linking Edinburgh with Canada has been launched.

The route between the Scottish capital and Toronto is being operated by Air Canada rouge.

The airline will operate three flights a week and the new route will add to the £83m spend which Canadian tourists already generate for the Scottish economy.

It has been welcomed by VisitScotland Chairman, Mike Cantlay.

As the first flight from Canada arrived in Scotland, he said: "The launch of this new direct route is an amazing moment for Edinburgh in what has been a long and important relationship between Canada and Scotland. With this new direct route another part of the network jigsaw is complete.

"Canadians have always had a strong affiliation with our country and, as we prepare to welcome the world with Homecoming, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in 2014, the timing of this new service is perfect."

Air Canada rouge is the new budget leisure subsidiary from Air Canada and operates a fleet of Boeing 767-300ER and Airbus 319 aircraft.

Michael Friisdahl, president and chief executive officer of Air Canada rouge, said: "We are excited to launch this new route between Toronto and Edinburgh, which marks one of our first three flights from Canada to Europe."

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: "We're delighted to welcome Air Canada to Edinburgh Airport and we are sure they'll have a very successful summer. This new direct service from Toronto to Edinburgh is yet another example of how we listen to our customers and work hard to ensure they have the best choice of routes possible.

"Edinburgh Airport is where Scotland meets the world and it's hugely exciting to now offer a direct service to Canada which I'm sure our Canadian and Scottish passengers will take full advantage of. Toronto is an important international hub for us and this new route will allow us to establish and maintain crucial trade links for both economies."

VisitScotland markets Scotland extensively to Canadians and has operated sales missions to Toronto and Montreal. A recent competition saw 4,500 Canadians entering to win a dream trip to Scotland.

In September, VisitScotland will be taking part in Destination Britain North America in Las Vegas. Organised by VisitBritain, the event will see VisitScotland staff meeting with Canadian and American tour operators, promoting exciting Scottish events such as the Year of Natural Scotland, Homecoming 2014, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Tourism is of crucial importance to the Scotland. The industry employs 270,000 people in 20,000 businesses and contributes £11 billion annually to the economy. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.

Canada is one of Scotland's largest international visitor markets, with more than 100,000 visits made in 2011.
 

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Airport hotel plan checks in

Edinburgh Evening News - 7th July, 2013



A major 125-bedroom hotel would be built near the main entrance to Edinburgh Airport under a masterplan being developed by Scotland’s premier agricultural society.

The new accommodation will be built on the former Port Royal driving range grounds – directly opposite the 150-room Hilton hotel – under plans to be submitted to the city council within weeks.

The land is owned by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, which runs the annual show at Ingliston.

The driving range that once occupied the site has been closed since October 2011.

A verbal agreement has been struck with UK-based firm Chardon Management, which runs Holiday Inns in Glasgow and Perth, to operate the new hotel.

There will be room to expand the facility beyond 125 rooms.

It will become just the third hotel in the airport’s immediate vicinity, with a 95-room Quality Hotel the only other place to stay adjacent to the major transport hub.

Chardon Trading managing director Nicola Taylor said the organisation was also transforming the existing Quality Hotel into a refurbished Holiday Inn Express as part of a multi-million investment.

She said: “If you looked at most other airports, they clearly have more hotels than the two at Edinburgh.”

Edinburgh Airport achieved its busiest ever May this year, with 906,679 passengers travelling through that month.

Airport chiefs were confident of topping one million passengers in a month for the first time, with Air Canada Rouge yesterday becoming the latest airline to launch new flights out of the Capital.

Edinburgh West MSP Colin Keir said: “Edinburgh Airport is a huge success story. It’s producing more jobs, there’s more people coming into the area and we desperately need more quality hotel space. Not everybody is coming to Edinburgh as a tourist – some are here for business and airport hotels are required.”

Both the Royal Highland society and the airport declined to comment.
 

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Edinburgh Airport passes million passenger mark

BBC News - 12th August, 2013

Scotland's busiest airport handled more than one million passengers last month, passing the seven-figure milestone for the first time.

A total of 1,082,938 people travelled through Edinburgh Airport in July, up 13.1% on the previous year.

The hub surpassed the landmark figure in late July, airport officials said.

The figures were announced as Glasgow and Aberdeen Airports also reported rises in passenger numbers of more than 5% in July, compared to 2012.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: "We're over the moon with this achievement and is testament not only to the hard work of all at Edinburgh Airport - my team, our airlines and handling agents and other partners - but to the real culture shift that has happened since the airport was bought by GIP last summer.

"We've had the equivalent of the population of Stirling through our doors every day."

Performance figures for Edinburgh's busiest ever month show that 448,442 passengers were on domestic flights while 634,496 were travelling to and from international destinations.

Passenger numbers at Aberdeen International Airport were on the rise in July.

Exactly 335,631 people used the terminal last month, up 6.8% on the previous year.

Officials said there was growth in both the fixed-wing and helicopter sectors, as well as domestic and international passenger numbers.

Glasgow Airport reported its busiest July in five years, with more than 832,000 people travelling through its doors.

The passenger figures represented an increase of 5.4% compared to the same period last year.

Domestic traffic grew by 8% while a strong demand from holidaymakers and the "solid" performance of a number of Glasgow's long-haul routes contributed to a 3.7% increase in international traffic, airport bosses said.

Amanda McMillan, Glasgow Airport's managing director, said: "The summer season is always a busy time for the airport but there has been a marked increase in the number of people choosing to fly from Glasgow over the course of the past two months.

"We have enjoyed consistent passenger growth since January 2011 which underlines the progress we are making in terms of securing new routes and services."
 

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£150m boost to transform Edinburgh Airport

BBC News - 21st August, 2013



Edinburgh Airport has announced plans for a £150m investment programme which will make it "one of the best airports in the UK".

This includes £25m for a "significant expansion" of the international hub's terminal building.

The 6,000 sq m facility will be built around a larger security area that will allow passengers to move through that part of the airport faster.

About 100 new construction jobs will be created during the building work.

There will also be new retail areas and a brand new airline business centre with offices.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport chief executive, said: "Our expansion is a significant mark of our intent to transform our customers' experience of Edinburgh Airport through high-quality facilities, outstanding customer service and one of the best direct international route networks in Europe.

"This investment is the first of a number of developments that will build Edinburgh Airport's profile around the world, helping us to compete more energetically with other UK airports and those in mainland Europe."

An Edinburgh Airport spokesman said: "This investment will make Edinburgh Airport one of the best airports in the UK."

The extension will see the terminal move into the space currently housing the airport's coach park, moving the terminal access closer to the new tram stop.

By moving the security area, valuable space inside the terminal will be freed for more passenger and retail spaces, including the airport's first walk-through store.

The money will be invested over the next five years with the terminal expansion being the first major project.

Work will begin in October, with the new security area operational by late 2014.

The new retail space will follow in 2015.
 

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Edinburgh Airport: Mini festival for passengers

Edinburgh Evening News - 22nd August, 2013

A mini Royal Mile showcasing festival excitement and live acts will entertain passengers walking along an outdoor corridor linking Edinburgh Airport and its tram stop.


Officials want the 250ft-long area used by passengers walking between the trams and the planned airport terminal extension to be wowed by year-long exhibitions and acts.

Use of the outdoor arena would not be limited to July and August, with planners keen to see the space used as a year-round outdoor arts platform. The dead space is being improved as part of the 
£150 million investment owner Global Infrastructure Partners [GIP] outlined yesterday as part of its five-year vision.

The area will run off the southern entrance to a £25m terminal extension, which will include a new state-of-the-art security area designed to slash queues.

Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “We think there may be an opportunity to do something around what we would call a festival space.

“When the Festival’s on, we can have acts going on there. At other times of the year, we will maybe do art 
representations.

“We want to make sure the space presents Scotland in the best possible light.”

As sponsors of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, the airport has already staged several one-off performances, but has never run regular Festival entertainment.

Charlie Wood, co-director at Underbelly, welcomed the airport’s gateway arts proposal. “It would be great. Anything to add to the diversity, colour and geography of the Festival is more than welcome.”

Green culture spokesman Councillor Chas Booth said: “The festivals collectively can be a little overwhelming because there’s so much choice and variety. The Royal Mile works quite well because it gives little tasters to people.

“If it was possible to replicate something like that in other venues [like the airport], then that’s a really interesting idea.”
 

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Just a video I've recently recorded.
Cruising, descending and taking off for this turboprop Dash-8 flight bound to a windy Edinburgh, Scotland.
As you can hear towards the end of the video, yes, Freddy Kruger was on board and was doing a pretty decent job.
 

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Edinburgh Airport sees 1m passengers yet again

Edinburgh Evening News - 2nd August, 2013

The run of success at Edinburgh Airport has hit new heights, with the transport hub bursting through the one million passenger mark for the second month in a row.

More than two million travellers have passed through the terminal across July and August, with passenger numbers reaching seven figures for both individual months.

The airport had never achieved the elusive million mark milestone until this summer.

The result comes just a week after the airport announced a £25m overhaul of the existing terminal, with a new security area and more shops to be built at the site.

A total of £150m will be spent by airport owners Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) over the next five years, with the rest of the money to go towards general improvements such as building more car parking and adding at least five new parking stands for aircraft.

Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said the result had capped off a “truly remarkable summer”.

He said: “We want to thank each and every one of the two million passengers that travelled with us in July and August for choosing our airport and helping us to break records.

“It’s amazing to think that we’ve had enough people pass through our terminal to fill almost 4000 Airbus A380s. As a thank you, we’re offering all of our departing passengers a free coffee when they return to visit us. We want their lasting memory of Edinburgh to be a good one and we hope that people take up our offer and have a coffee on us when they return to see us again.”

Airport chiefs have credited the strongest Fringe on record for contributing to their results.

The Fringe and the Book Festival both reported record sales as they brought down the curtain on a bumper year.

More than 1.9 million tickets were sold to Fringe events – a five per cent increase on last year.

The Book Festival also experienced record numbers, with about 225,000 visits to the Charlotte Square site during the 30th annual event.

The reputation of Edinburgh Airport is growing, with the hub awarded the major plaudit in the five to ten million passenger class at this year’s prestigious Airports Council International Europe awards.

The facility, which had 9.2 million passengers a year pass through its doors last year, is up about eight per cent on traveller numbers compared to the same point of 2012.

Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir, who praised the results, said: “They have to continue to obviously improve the experience of moving through the airport, whether it’s the speed that you come off a plane into the city or the speed that you move out. It’s about making life that bit easier for not just the business traveller, but also ordinary travellers.

“People who are off on their holidays, the last thing you want is the old horror story of years ago with endless queues.”

Every passenger who flies out of Edinburgh Airport today will be given a free cup of coffee to thank them for helping achieve the “1 in 2 million” landmark.

Postcards celebrating the occasion will also be handed out to travellers. The airport expects to give out about 18,000 cups of coffee over the day.

The retail reward comes after plans to convert the airport’s existing security area into a host of new shops when the terminal extension opens next year were unveiled.

The new stores will include fashion and jewellery outlets and will be launched in 2015.

The airport’s first walk-through store and a business centre for airlines will also be created to tempt shoppers.
 

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Edinburgh Trams: New Plaza at Airport Revealed

Edinburgh Evening News - 5th September, 2013



Designs for how the new Edinburgh Airport terminal will look around the site’s tram stop have been released for the first time.

The images give a sense of what passengers will see as they step off the trams at the airport from late next year.

The pictured space will run off the southern entrance to a £25m terminal extension, which will include a new state-of-the-art security area designed to slash queues.

The extension is due to open late next year, with the eight-mile long tram route to be running before then.

Airport officials are discussing turning the space between the terminal and tram stop into a mini version of the Royal Mile, showcasing festival excitement and live acts year round.
 

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Hopefully that's just a dodgy render and the ticket office and canopy at the end of the tram stop is still going ahead. And then hopefully some kind of covering to the entrance.



Either way, glad to see GIP taking more of an interest in the trams than BAA did.
I'd love to know what the status is for the canopy building/ticket kiosk. Every time I'm at the airport I hope to see some evidence for work on it starting but never do.

Has it been quietly dropped?
 

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:lol: I've just posted these on the tram thread but definitely worth posting here too that the Evening News obviously got that pic from a gallery on the Edinburgh Airport website.





No idea about the ticket office. Would hope it's not been dropped.
 

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If it is dropped, then there's no excuse for GIP not to fund a short extension up to the entrance and have a nice civilised fully enclosed stop :banana:

Then again, the render still shows the bus laybys marked out and the supermarket car park style shelter - which will presumably be going. And blue 3-car trams? ..I expect it's just a render knocked up in five minutes.
 

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Disaster of a render for the tram stop plaza, compared to the higher quality ones used to show the terminal upgrades.

Tram stop should be fully enclosed up to the terminal with moving walkway though.
 

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Surprised that no-one has posted this yet.

The only non-stop flight linking Edinburgh with Chicago has been announced for next summer.

The route will be operated by United Airlines.

It will operate five times weekly from 23 May to 12 June, daily from 13 June to 2 September and four times weekly between 3 September and 6 October.

Flight times will be eight hours 35 minutes westbound and seven hours 45 minutes eastbound.

The Edinburgh-Chicago flight will depart Edinburgh at 10:25, arriving in Chicago at 13:00 the same day.

The return flight will depart Chicago at 18:00, arriving in Edinburgh at 07:45 the following day.
Home town

Bob Schumacher, United Airlines' managing director sales for the UK and Ireland, said: "Having recently celebrated 15 years of operations in Scotland, we're delighted to expand our schedule with seasonal non-stop service to Chicago, United's home town.

"Next year's Homecoming promotion and Ryder Cup at Gleneagles make it the ideal time to launch these flights, which will offer our customers an increased range of travel choices and opportunities."

First Minister Alex Salmond said: "By improving direct routes overseas, we can help reduce the need for travellers to make extra connecting flights via London or the continent, support tourism, trade and investment and so further strengthen Scotland's economy.

"The eyes of the world will be on Scotland in 2014 and, as we host international sporting stars at the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup and celebrate another Year of Homecoming, we hope to welcome visitors from across the world, not least from the United States with whom we share strong and enduring bonds."

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said the new route was "a fantastic validation of Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole".

He said: "We are delighted to have played our part in developing this route with the other agencies and government departments that make up Team Scotland.

"This collaborative approach works and we look forward to bringing many more international routes to Edinburgh in the coming months."
From the BBC

It'll be operated by a B757 (like the Newark flight is)
 

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That's pretty awesome. I believe that United/Continental has, at least in the past, done 2 flight/day from Newark to Edinburgh in the summer. Is this instead of one of those flights, or in addition to them?
 

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It's in addition to the two Newark flights, so United will have three flights a day and two on the ground at the same time (for the summer anyway).
 

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Great news, and with it moving in on the long hall market usually dominated by GLA. Competition is working well between these airports.
 
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