Thomson boosts capacity at Edinburgh

Thomson and package holiday company, First Choice, are selling three new routes from Edinburgh Airport. The additions, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, and the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, come just a few days after Luton-based airline, easyJet, introduced flights from the Scottish hub to Grenoble in France, the Greek capital, Athens, and the largest Canary Island, Tenerife.

Speaking about Thomson’s latest investment, Kevin Brown, chief at Edinburgh Airport, said that the three new destinations were “very welcome”. The sky-blue airline claims that the trio of routes will lure an extra 8,000 new passengers to the hub. Thomson, anticipating a boom in Edinburgh’s popularity over the summer months, has already increased capacity on its most lucrative routes by 23,000 seats.

Paul Cooper, manager at Thomson, told the BBC News website that a surge in demand for the three destinations prompted the expansion. However, with just 13 routes available from Edinburgh, Thomson remains one of the smaller airlines at the airport, behind easyJet with 23 destinations, and Irish carrier, Ryanair, with 39. Thomson currently has no competition on the route to Rhodes, but the airline will have to do battle with Michael O’Leary’s airline for passengers bound for the Canary Islands.

Thomson is also offering package holidays in Rhodes and the Canaries. A seven-day holiday to Rhodes, beginning on July 24 2011, costs in the region of £530pp for three-star accommodation, and £652pp for the five-star Atlantic Imperial Resort in Kolymbia, Rhodes. The route will operate between June 29 and August 17 2011. Holidays in Gran Canaria are available from May 7 to October 29 2011, and cost between £434pp for three-star facilities, and £888pp for “affordable luxury,” otherwise known as a cheap five-star hotel.

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