By Ian McConnell

Canadian airline WestJet’s inaugural flight from Edinburgh has departed for Toronto, marking the start of a three times per week seasonal service which will run until October.

Flights will depart on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays on a Boeing 737 Max.

Edinburgh Airport declared the “non-stop service means famous attractions like the CN Tower, the Distillery District and Niagara Falls – albeit a wee bit further – are now just a flight away due to the direct connectivity”.

The airport added that the new service also strengthens Edinburgh’s connectivity to North America, “opening up other areas and destinations through hub connections”.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said:“Welcoming a new airline partner to our airport is always an exciting day and we are delighted to see the WestJet tailfin in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh.

“This new service will open up Canada and Scotland to travellers from both countries, whether that be seeing family and friends for the first time in a while, strengthening business connections with existing and new partners, or just experiencing the fantastic sights and culture that these two amazing cities have to offer."

He added: “North America is one of our strongest markets and we hope that by making a success of this route it demonstrates the desire there is for greater direct connectivity and something we can work towards with our partners.”

John Weatherill, WestJet chief commercial officer said:“We are thrilled that Edinburgh is our final European connection to inaugurate this summer, rounding out the restoration of our network and strengthening our transatlantic offerings as demand for international travel continues to ramp up.

“Seamless connectivity between Europe and Canada is critical to the recovery of the travel and tourism industry and we look forward to welcoming our global guests on board this summer as we continue to restore our network to pre-pandemic levels.”