Ryanair set to expand Edinburgh schedule as Virgin’s Little Red service comes to an end

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has revealed that the airline is set to increase the number of routes it operates out of Edinburgh airport.

AirportLater this month the airline will start a three-times-a-day service between Edinburgh and London Stansted, while Mr O’Leary also revealed that the airline’s new routes to Europe will be served from Edinburgh airport.

“As we open up new routes across Europe I think we will link those new bases back to Edinburgh.

“Edinburgh is a very attractive destination. A lot of continental Europeans – the Italians,the Spanish, the Germans – are not that keen on going to London. They’re much more keen on travelling to Ireland and Scotland. I think Ireland and Scotland resonate much more with the continental Europeans.”

To mark its new Edinburgh-Stansted route, the airline is offering a special £19.99 starting price for the route, which travellers can book up until midnight on Thursday for travel in October, November and December.

Ryanair’s announcement comes as Virgin Atlantic reveals that it is bringing its Little Red flight service between Aberdeen and London Heathrow to an end next September.

Little Red’s Manchester flights will also cease at the end of March, while Aberdeen and Edinburgh services will continue through summer.

Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Craig Kreeger said: “Little Red came about through an enduring passion at Virgin Atlantic to make a difference for our customers.

“We really wanted it to be a success and everyone involved worked extremely hard and has given it their best efforts.”

The news was met with disappointment from leading figures in Aberdeen’s travel industry, including Steve Harris, chief executive of tourism body VisitAberdeen, who said: “I’m very disappointed about the news on a number of levels.

“It’s important to that remember though that we retain many routes into London via London City, Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton.”

However, suggestions that Ryanair may take over the Edinburgh-Heathrow service abandoned by Little Red were quashed by Mr O’Leary.

He said: “I wouldn’t go near Heathrow.

“The critical part of our operating efficiency is 25-minute turnarounds. You’re still taxi-ing around Heathrow after 25 minutes.”

If you are heading off on a ‘staycation’, it’s important to remember that you could still benefit from taking out travel insurance.

Date Created: 08 October 2014

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