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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 16:34 GMT
Ryanair announces 70m expansion
Ryanair plane
Ryanair will offer more routes from Edinburgh
Budget airline Ryanair is to base two planes in Edinburgh as part of a 70m expansion of its services, which is expected to create up to 1,200 jobs.

The low-cost carrier is to offer 12 direct routes from the Scottish capital to a host of European destinations.

The move is expected to attract more than 1.2 million extra passengers through Edinburgh Airport.

Some flights start in Easter, with more in September to destinations including Berlin, Bratislava and Stockholm.

Other new services include the Polish destinations of Poznan, Krakow, Lodz and Wroclaw, and the holiday destinations of Malaga and Palma.

This expansion... will bring hundreds of thousands of new visitors into Edinburgh and the surrounding regions
David Johnston
Edinburgh Airport

The airline claimed the expansion would indirectly create up to 1,200 jobs in Edinburgh and the east of Scotland.

About 100 of these will be directly employed by the company at the airport.

A further 100 jobs will be in airport-based services, including catering and handling.

The remaining 1,000 jobs would be created indirectly in the tourism and hotel industries.

Thursday's announcement takes to 19 the total number of destinations served by Ryanair at Edinburgh. Last year it only operated two routes, to Dublin and Shannon.

Caroline Baldwin, Ryanair director of UK sales, said: "It doesn't really have an impact on Prestwick.

"We have built up a considerable route network of just under 30 routes from Prestwick.

"We believe the demand is there for both an east coast and a west coast hub."

'Significant additions'

Sean Coyle, Ryanair's director of scheduled revenue, said: "Edinburgh Airport has competed successfully against airports across Europe for Ryanair's 27th base.

"Our 19 routes will deliver significant economic benefits for Edinburgh by capitalising on Scotland's huge tourism potential and making it cheaper and easier than ever before to get here."

BAA Edinburgh Airport managing director David Johnston said: "This expansion really marks Ryanair's arrival in the Scottish capital, and will bring hundreds of thousands of new visitors into Edinburgh and the surrounding regions.

"Edinburgh's first ever direct route to the German capital, Berlin, and our first ever route to Slovakia are particularly exciting and significant additions to Edinburgh's route network and one which we expect will prove popular with inbound and outbound passengers.

"Developing Scotland's direct connectivity with the world has been a key priority for BAA Scotland over recent years, and we have invested 95m in bringing in new routes."

Edinburgh Airport now has more than 40 airlines serving more than 100 destinations, handling more than nine million passengers a year.

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