The new owner of Scotland’s busiest airport has signalled investment targeting long-haul routes.

As Vinci Group’s majority stake purchase of Edinburgh Airport is sealed, the global giant also unveiled its long-term commitment plan for Scotland.

Nicolas Notebaert, Vinci president, said the airport giant, which has more than 70 airports in 14 countries including Gatwick and Belfast in the UK, aims to develop long-haul "point to point" destinations such as China, which he said is "clearly a good target".

It would build on Edinburgh Airport’s success so far with wins such as Hainan Airlines growing its Edinburgh presence, transatlantic and Middle-East routes.

Investment was pledged after Global Infrastructure Partners sold a majority stake to one of the world’s biggest operators.

The 50.01 per cent stake changed hands in a deal worth £1.27 billion.

Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar, left, and Vinci Airports president Nicolas NotebaertEdinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar, left, and Vinci Airports president Nicolas Notebaert (Image: Edinburgh Airport)

Mr Notebaert said: "We are long-term. Our commitment here … is a long-term commitment to Scotland."

He said that Scotland "being unique", and "being open to the world" were key factors which he said are of high value.

He added: "We believe in future growth, we don’t just invest for the past, we invest for the future. The ideas of the airports we invested in are fantastic for us but we believe there is even a stronger potential of growth for the future and we are happy to help.

"We will be over 2019, before Covid, this year, and now the best is to come."

He went on to say: “It is a commitment to Scotland, an investment, a positive signal … we are very happy to invest here.

"It is more, we see value in it, we see value in the people, we see value in the project, we see value in the brand …"


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Mr Notebaert continued: "One of our priorities is long-haul direct links. We don’t want people to go for hubs, we don’t manage so many hubs, we think it is better to go point to point ... so the more direct routes we bring would bring the added value."

Vinci has sites in Japan, Cambodia, Mexico, Chile Brazil and the US as well as France, Portugal, Hungary and others.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport chief executive, said: "We know that relationship building is such a key part about airline development in Asia in particular so that will undoubtedly be an accelerator for us looking at Japanese, Cambodian, Chinese connectivity that we have been making progress on but I am sure we can do more."

Edinburgh Airport is expecting to welcome more than 15 million passengers this year, a record, beating 14.4 million passengers last year. It reckoning on 20 million passengers by 2030.

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