A new airline service between Scotland and Switzerland has carried its first passengers.

The Edinburgh to Zurich service will run twice a week during the summer season on Mondays and Fridays.

The flights, each with capacity to carry more than 150 people, are being operated by Edelweiss, the sister carrier of Swiss International Air Lines.

Loading article content

Edelweiss chief executive Karl Kistler, who piloted today's inaugural flight himself, said: "We are very excited to add Edinburgh to our network.

"Our two weekly flights throughout the summer season from May till October will carry approximately 8,000 passengers to Scotland and will have a significant impact on incoming tourism from Switzerland and other connecting markets."

Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: "Zurich represents an important business link and this new route will offer passengers even more choice of how they travel.

"Switzerland is also a popular tourist destination and we're delighted to be working with Edelweiss to offer Scottish passengers the chance to visit this beautiful country."

In 2013, Swiss tourists in Scotland spent a total of £31 million and the average length of stay was almost six days, according to VisitScotland.