A NEW daily flight between Glasgow Airport and Dubai will benefit everyone from whisky makers to tourists, according to business experts.
Emirates Airline will give a boost of more than £200million to the city’s economy with a second daily flight starting from June 1, as reported in later editions of yesterday’s Evening Times.
About 400 extra passengers will fly in and out of the airport every day as a result and tourism bosses and politicians hailed it as fantastic news for Glasgow’s economy.
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber Of Commerce, said: “We welcome this investment decision by Emirates as a clear vote of confidence in Glasgow’s continuing economic success.
“This expansion of Emirates’ service to the international hub at Dubai is vital to growing Glasgow-based engineering companies such as Aggreko, Weir Group and Clyde Blowers – all of whom are operating beyond Europe and into Far East markets.
“It is also important to the whisky and tourism industries.
“This great news is yet more vindication of BAA’s decision to retain Glasgow Airport.
“The management team there is doing an excellent job in exploiting the airport’s assets and in attracting new flights during what remain tough times.”
The link to Dubai allows Scottish travellers to catch connecting flights to destinations around the world, including Australasia and Africa.
It was first introduced in 2004, since when the single daily flight between Glasgow and Dubai has carried more than 1.7m passengers and over 46m kilos of cargo to and from the Middle East and beyond.
The new flight will create up to 12 direct jobs and generate millions of pounds in visitor revenue.
The additional flight, coupled with an aircraft upgrade on the existing service, will increase Emirates’ capacity to and from Glasgow by 47%, an extra 398 seats per day – 199 each way.
Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said the new flight would be a significant boost to the city’s economy and competitiveness.
He said: “It is estimated the twice daily service will deliver local economic benefits of £33m, with almost 140,000 inbound passengers this year alone.
“Over the next five years, the route will be worth more than £200m.”
It will also see the introduction of a first class cabin in both daily services, the first time this has been offered by a commercial airline from Scotland.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said: “This announcement of the new expanded service underlines Emirates’ confidence in the Scottish market’s ability to sustain and grow.”