DOHA/EDINBURGH: Qatar Airways yesterday commenced services between Edinburgh and Doha. The inaugural flight, which landed at Edinburgh International Airport at 13:15 was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute and the classic sound of Scottish bagpipes.
With smooth and frequent connection times in Doha’s brand new Hamad International Airport, passengers flying from Edinburgh will now be able to arrive at their final destination, without the need for any domestic transfers within the UK.
Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Marwan Koleilat said: “The start of the service not only offers travellers from the Scottish capital access to the Middle East in under seven hours, but also a quicker total journey time to other popular destinations in Asia, India and Australasia, through our brand new airline hub, Hamad International Airport.”
The most popular destinations for those using the new route are likely to be in Asia and Australasia, with journey times to Melbourne reduced from approximately 26 hours with two transfers, to just 20 hours with one quick international transfer.
The new Edinburgh route is not only the first for the city to the Middle East region, but will also be Edinburgh’s first scheduled service on one of the world’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Scottish Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf 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.”