Delta Air Lines is launching a daily nonstop service between Edinburgh Airport and Atlanta, in addition to its existing daily flights from the Scottish capital to New York-JFK and Boston.

The US airline noted that its Atlanta service “has not been flown in over a decade.

Paul Hassenstab, Delta’s sales director for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India, said: “Bringing back our nonstop service from Edinburgh to Atlanta offers our customers more than 200 onward destinations across the United States and beyond as well as providing more options for US visitors to Scotland.

“The ties between our two nations are historic and enduring, and with positive demand for all our Scottish services both from business and leisure customers, we have grown our schedule between Scotland and the US by 90% compared to last year.”

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said, “It’s always exciting to add new routes where we can, and we are thrilled to offer another connection to the USA by connecting these two fantastic cities. As Scotland’s airport, we want to tell the country’s story to the world, and we are lucky to have a story that continues to excite people - from history, culture and whisky to stunning scenery and a chance to reconnect with ancestors and family ties.”

He added: “This new route will be Delta’s third at Edinburgh Airport and shows the strong demand and confidence in our market, and we look forward to working with our partners to make the route a success and provide seamless travel for both inbound and outbound travellers.”

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Delta’s Edinburgh-Atlanta service is operated in conjunction with partners Air France KLM and Virgin Atlantic, using 216-seat, Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

Edinburgh Airport said: "The route reconnects Scotland and the state of Georgia for the first time since 2007, offering direct connections to the Peach State and beyond thanks to Delta’s connectivity options at its hub airport. The service was initially due to operate five times per week but was increased to daily due to the strong demand from both sides of the Atlantic.

"Transatlantic capacity at Edinburgh Airport is currently set to be 149% of 2019 levels, demonstrating the continued interest in Scotland and its capital city."

It noted the inaugural flight had landed at Edinburgh this morning.

In Atlanta, Delta is the largest carrier, operating up to 850 peak-day flights.

Delta said: “With nonstop services to three US gateways, Delta offers more travel options to the United States from Scotland than any other airline. This includes one-stop connections to the west coast cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco or the national parks of the Mountain West region, such as Zion and Arches, while the beaches and world-famous theme parks of Florida which are only a short hop from Atlanta.

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“In addition, the US is the top market for international inbound visitors to Scotland, with Americans accounting for 18% of all international visits in 2019. Delta’s Atlanta flight will provide access for thousands of Americans looking to enjoy Scotland’s historic cities, scenery, golf, and outdoor activities.”

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Minister for Transport Kevin Stewart said: “I welcome the start of Delta Air Lines’ new service between Edinburgh and Atlanta, further enhancing our connectivity with the US and providing important links for business, exports and tourism.

“As their third route into Scotland, after New York JFK and Boston, this new link with Atlanta provides even greater choice for passengers on Delta’s extensive network, and is a real demonstration of confidence in the Scottish market."

He added: “This new service also further boosts Edinburgh Airport’s case for establishing US pre-clearance facilities, an ambition supported by the Scottish Government that could deliver significant economic benefits for Scotland.

"As we look to build our international connectivity and make Scotland as well connected as peer nations and regions, I congratulate Edinburgh Airport and Delta on the start of this new service, and wish them every success with the route.”