UAE's flagship airline carrier, Etihad Airways, has announced plans to launch a non-stop daily flight from Edinburgh to capital city Abu Dhabi, marking the start of its first service from Scotland.
Edinburgh will be the third UK departure point by Etihad Airways, as the airline already offers flights from London and Manchester.
The first flights will begin on June 8, 2015, according to the airline. The Edinburgh - Abu Dhabi flight will be operated with an Airbus A330-200. The aircraft offers two classes - 22 seats in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy Class. The new route will provide a convenient connection for passengers and cargo from Scotland that need to reach other Etihad destinations in the Gulf, such as Asia, Australia or Africa.
President and CEO of Etihad Airways James Hogan said that the airline has been wanting to provide direct flights to and from Scotland for some time now.
Hogan said Scotland are among UAE's chief trade partners in the Gulf region, and that the new non-stop daily flight would benefit businesses and leisure passengers alike. At the annual dinner of the Scottish Passenger Agents' Association in February, he also voiced plans for a second Scotland - Abu Dhabi service, to be introduced in five years.
Scotland's Transport Minister, Keith Brown, welcomed news of the Edinburgh flights, saying the new connection will push international connectivity further and give a huge boost to Scotland's business and tourism.