Readers will doubtless have seen Wednesday’s news that Virgin Atlantic would be starting flights from Edinburgh.
So good news for the Scottish capital and its airport, which has been badly affected by the pandemic.
However there’s more to Virgin Atlantic’s decision than meets the eye.
Scottish media reports that this decision by Virgin Atlantic will mean the end of flights from Glasgow – a city the airline has served since 2007.
Local MP Gavin Newlands is outraged at Virgin Atlantic’s decision.
This is horrendous news for @GLA_Airport & Renfrewshire which has already seen over 3000 #aviation jobs go during the #COVID19 pandemic.
I've already reached out to @VirginAtlantic to secure a meeting to discuss this reckless decision which compounds a horror year for local jobs. https://t.co/Pry5yCOunf
— Gavin Newlands MP (@GavNewlandsSNP) August 11, 2021
He tweeted, “This is horrendous news for Glasgow airport and Renfrewshire which has already seen over 3,000 aviation jobs go during the Covid 19 pandemic.
“I’ve already reached out to Virgin Atlantic to secure a meeting to discuss this reckless decision which compounds a horror year for local jobs.”
Edinburgh Evening News reported, “It is the first time Virgin Atlantic has flown international flights from the Scottish capital it its 37-year history.”
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said, “Although we’re moving our operations from Glasgow, our new base allows us to grow our flight portfolio offering our Scottish customers more services and more destinations than ever before.”
However Virgin Atlantic’s reasoning is not entirely correct.
I say that because Edinburgh’s runway cannot cope with really long-haul flights.
I mean it can handle nonstop flights to the Gulf or to the US East Coast but a nonstop flight to, say, Los Angeles or the Far East would not be possible.
Readers may remember that when Hainan Airlines operated to Edinburgh it routed via Dublin.
Glasgow is however lucky to have retained Emirates, with the carrier recently having resumed flights to the airport. The Dubai-based airline would, in normal times, provide Scottish travellers with worldwide links.
I did reply to the MP to make this point, and he acknowledged me.
— Alex McWhirter (@McWhirterAlex) August 12, 2021
Emirates has withdrawn its Edinburgh services for the time being.