Love them or hate them, Ryanair is a force to be reckoned with. The Irish company has walked away from using airports when it didn’t get the deal it wanted. Not so long ago, it seemed as though that might happen at Edinburgh. It certainly cut back on the number of routes when it failed to reach agreement with BAA. But BAA no longer owns the airport. Global Infrastructure Partners now does and the airline has reached an accommodation with them which means that services are groiwng again.

This morning, it announced plans for significant growth in Scotland next summer. It confirmed that there will be no fewer than 38 routes (6 of them new) out of Edinburgh and 27 routes (again of them 2 new) from Glasgow Prestwick. It expects over 3m passengers to use the services with the result that over 3,000 “on site jobs” at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Prestwick airports will be maintained.

The new routes from Edinburgh will fly to Bologna, Beziers, Cagliari, Corfu, Katowice & Santander. There will also be increased frequencies on 5 other routes meaning that there will be 246 flights a week. The new flights from Prestwick are both to Poland, Rzeszow & Warsaw Modlin, again with increased frequencies on 4 other routes.

According to Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, the new schedule “will deliver over 3m passengers p.a. and sustain over 3,000 jobs at Edinburgh and Glasgow Prestwick Airports.” He added that the successful negotiations with Edinburgh Airport’s new owners was “a prime example of what can be achieved by dismantling the BAA monopoly and we look forward to further growth at Edinburgh Airport under its new ownership.”

The Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar, welcomed the planned growth and investment, pointing out that “when I came to Edinburgh Airport in the summer, it was clear that we had to repair the relationship with Ryanair and work with them to provide more choice for Scottish passengers. I’m pleased that today we can announce a new relationship and new routes. This announcement underlines the fact that Edinburgh and Scotland is an attractive market for a variety of operators and that we as an airport are open and willing to do business to expand our network and encourage growth.”

On the planned expension at Prestwick, that airport’s CEO, Iain Cochrane, described it as “another sign of its continuing confidence in our airport. The decision to increase its Prestwick operations for next summer, along with new routes to Rzeszow and Warsaw is great news both for the airport and the region too. It gives travellers an even greater choice of value-for-money destinations next year and a further boost for the local economy, with more visitors to Scotland coming through the airport gateway.”

The airline says that to “celebrate” our new Edinburgh & Glasgow Prestwick routes, it will launch a 100,000 seat sale on flight across Europe in January. However, booking will only be available until midnight Thursday (6 Dec).

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David Calder has been a broadcast journalist for over 30 years. Before moving to the Caledonian Mercury, he worked for the BBC (national and regional) as well as parts of ITV and the World Service. He worked for prestigious programmes such as The Money Programme, You & Yours, Today and The World at One. He spent two years making mini-documentaries for Radio 5 Live and was a regular correspondent for CBC (Radio Canada). He was a regular reporter on various news and current affairs programmes on BBC Scotland as well as producing or presenting (sometimes both) science, legal affairs and arts programmes. As well as his contributions to the Caledonian Mercury, he is also a freelance producer in Scotland for the satellite channel, Al Jazeera.