It was good to hear the chief executive of Glasgow Airport’s confidence about winning the return of a North American flag carrier, in an exclusive interview with The Herald published on Thursday.

And Andy Cliffe was right to highlight the demand for such a service from major businesses in and around Glasgow.

He also flagged hopes of winning direct flights to China, and noted Turkish Airlines’ stated interest in Glasgow Airport.

READ MORE: Exclusive interview with airport chief in full

The airport chief highlighted the likes of investment bank JP Morgan, defence engineering giant BAE Systems and banking group Barclays as he pointed to a “huge amount of demand that [emanates] from this region to support” the restoration of direct flights between Glasgow and North America.

Commenting on potential for new business wins, Mr Cliffe said: “There are any number of other carrier conversations that are very much alive.

READ MORE: Airport chief: 'Hugely powerful' Glasgow not punching its weight

“There has been a lot of talk about what Turkish [Airlines] wants to do. Glasgow sits on their radar of intended opportunities.”

He added: “North America remains absolutely a target. We are very hopeful we will start to return those services to Glasgow as well.”

Asked if a North American service was likely to be seasonal or operated by a flag carrier, Mr Cliffe replied: “I think it is flag carrier. I don’t know if it is seasonal or not. We will have to see how that works.”

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: Torn-faced Prestwick Airport critics should lose their frowns

Mr Cliffe, when asked if the airport was currently in discussions with an airline about the launch of a North American route from Glasgow, replied: “We continue to talk to all airlines on any number of opportunities. There are certainly discussions in play at the moment.”

He revealed his ambitions to add at least another one million to annual passenger numbers this year, following a 14% increase to 7.4 million in 2023.

Glasgow Airport's bounce-back from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic has been much greater than many would have conceived.

Hopefully the airport can continue to build from here.