Qatar Airways arrives in Scotland. On 28 May, the Doha-based carrier began five times weekly flight to Edinburgh. Celebrating the event are Marwan Koleilat, CCO, Qatar Airways (left) and Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport (right). The sound of bagpipes were heard on the apron as the 787 taxied across the apron to the airport terminal for the first time.
- Qatar Airways, now operating all flights from Hamad International Airport, began operating a new route to the UK on 28 May. Edinburgh (EDI) became the airline’s third destination in the UK (after London Heathrow and Manchester), with five weekly 787 flights on the 5,550-kilometre route from Doha (DOH). The airline faces no direct competition on the route, and neither Emirates nor Etihad Airways serves the Scottish capital as yet. Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport, said: "This truly is a historic day, not just for our airport, but for the city of Edinburgh and for Scotland. Today’s inaugural flight to Doha marks the first direct link from Edinburgh to the Middle East and means Scotland’s capital is finally connected with Asia, Australia and China. We’re absolutely delighted to celebrate this occasion with our city partners and the Scottish Government, whose hard work has helped us reach this milestone. A direct link to Doha will not only enhance trade and culture links but will truly reaffirm Edinburgh Airport as where Scotland meets the world." Humza Yousaf, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, said: "Scotland and Qatar are both strong oil and gas producing countries and the relationship between our two countries has continued to strengthen over recent years. This service will help build on this important link and promote Scotland as a great place to do business. By removing the need for extra connecting flights, it will also make Scotland a more attractive destination for tourists. We want to improve Scotland’s international connectivity and we could attract more direct flights like this by cutting rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD), something that we don’t currently have the power to do but which has wide support in the aviation industry. 2014 is an exciting time for Scotland and we look forward to welcoming friends from around the world for our exciting programme of events that includes the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and a second Year of Homecoming." See how this airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.