First Scottish flight route to Beijing secured by Edinburgh Airport

Published: 16 March 2018

The first ever direct flights from Scotland to China will begin in June 2018 following an announcement in China. The ground-breaking announcement will see Hainan Airlines flights to Beijing beginning from 12th June, flying 4 weekly on an Airbus A330-300.

It’s part of an innovative flight model which links in three capital cities – Beijing, Edinburgh and Dublin. The route will fly from Beijing to Dublin and then onto Edinburgh and then back to Beijing on Thursdays and Sundays, flying to Edinburgh and then Dublin and then back to Beijing on Tuesdays and Saturdays. 

Working with the Airport and Marketing Edinburgh, I am pleased we have helped deliver this substantial outreach to Asia for tourism, business travel and investment opportunities.

Adam McVey, Leader, City of Edinburgh Council


It marks the successful culmination of Edinburgh Airport’s partnership working with colleagues in China to attract these routes to Scotland in a move which will benefit the country’s economy, culture and tourism. 

Chief Executive of Edinburgh, Gordon Dewar said: 

“This is a fantastic day for Edinburgh Airport and for Scotland as we connect Scotland and China for the first time. We are two countries steeped in history and rich in culture, offering new destinations for people from both countries to visit and explore. 

The culmination of more than three years of work, Gordon added that relationship building and working with partners in both countries has been crucial to the announcement: 

“A number of organisations shared our vision in attracting this route to Scotland, and it’s testament to our working together with both UK and Scottish governments and bodies such as Scottish Enterprise, Visit Scotland and Edinburgh Hoteliers Association among others that we’ve finally achieved it. Edinburgh Tourism Action Group’s China Ready programme has also prepared the city for this growing market, so we are in good shape. 

“Hainan Airlines have been a huge help and they must be congratulated for this innovative approach to tie the Celtic capitals of Edinburgh and Dublin into the route and open up these cities to the Chinese market. This is an incredibly exciting day for the airport, for the city and for the country."

 Mr Bao Qifa`s, chairman of Hainan Airlines, said: 

“By continuously expanding and improving our international network, Hainan Airlines dedicates to bringing more convenience to people’s life. This opening of the first nonstop service from Beijing to Dublin and Edinburgh will provide new facilities to stimulate the development of Sino-Irish and Sino-British relations.” 

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown said: 

“This new air link between Scotland and China is excellent news, helping to strengthen relations between our two countries and build on the cultural and economic links that we already share. 

“I congratulate both Edinburgh Airport and Hainan Airlines on securing this new service and have no doubt it will prove a great success. I look forward to the flights taking off later this year.” 

UK Government Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: 

“Edinburgh offers tourists from around the world a unique and vibrant cultural experience, and this link will mean more Chinese visitors can enjoy Scotland’s incredible hospitality and stunning scenery. 

City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Adam McVey said: 

“As the Gateway to Scotland, Edinburgh Airport is well-placed to welcome visitors from an ever increasing global range of destinations. A direct flight path from the Capital to China has been a coveted route for many years, and today’s confirmation of the country’s first route to Beijing is a major coup for the city. 

“The Council has worked hard to lay the foundations for this connection to the world’s fastest growing economy. Working with the Airport and Marketing Edinburgh, I am pleased we have helped deliver this substantial outreach to Asia for tourism, business travel and investment opportunities.” 


Get in touch

Investor Support Team

City of Edinburgh Council


Latest tweets

follow us @InvestEdinburgh