The inaugural flight, which landed at Edinburgh International Airport on Wednesday, was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute and the classic sound of Scottish bagpipes.
This new Scottish addition to the Qatar Airways route map, is the airlines 141st global destination, which will significantly reduce journey times, for those travelling from Edinburgh to locations around the world.
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, whether it is Doha in the Middle East or further afield, without the need for any domestic transfers within the UK.
Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Marwan Koleilat, said that, the service will not only benefit the local market in Scotland, but also attract a significant amount of business and trade links for those wishing to travel to Edinburgh from all corners of the world.
“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,” he said.
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.
Hamad International Airport is the world’s newest airport and the world’s latest global gateway, which will raise the bar on passenger expectations, thanks to its state-of-the-art facilities and passenger focused design.
Designed to accommodate 30 million passengers annually, rising to 50 million upon full completion, the airport covers an area of 29 sq. km and is 60 per cent built on land reclaimed from the Gulf.
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.
Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf, said that, the service will help 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,” he said.