Benefit of China/Scotland flights to be felt more widely

The flights will be direct twice a week, and via Dublin at other times. Photo credit – Pixabay

Benefit of China/Scotland flights to be felt more widely

Earlier in the year, we reported that the capital cities of China and Scotland will be linked directly for the first time after Hainan Airines revealed plans to launch flights between Edinburgh and Beijing.

The flights will be direct twice a week, and via Dublin at other times.

Commentators were quick to point out that they could provide a massive economic boost to the local economy in Edinburgh.

In the weeks since, there’s been optimism in the rest of the country that the flights will boost the Scottish economy as a whole.

For example, they’ve been described as ‘fantastic news for the highlands’ and ‘an exciting gear change’ for Scotland.

There’s already hope that more routes between China and Scotland could be launched, following a variety of media stories about future connections.

Potential new flights could include linking either Edinburgh or Glasgow to Shanghai or Hong Kong.

It is understood that officials from the former airport have already held informal discussions with Chinese airlines about these or similar routes.

Interestingly, Chinese airlines have large order books for the latest generation of airliners, including the newest A321 and 737 models.

In certain configurations, these have the range to fly long distances whilst requiring a lower passenger load to break even than on a traditional long haul jet.

The jets could prove extremely useful in linking European cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow to hubs in Western and Central China.

Such flights could provide economic benefits at both ends of the route – however they could also draw connecting traffic away from traditional hubs such as London’s Heathrow Airport.

Rupert Reid

Pilot and Senior Broadcast Journalist at Panda Radio. You can find him on Twitter @rupertreid