Beginning in summer 2012, Thomson Airways will be offering new long-haul flights from Edinburgh Airport. The routes, dubbed the “longest ever” by the Scotsman, will complement an existing flight to New York, currently, the only long-haul destination on the airport’s books.
Thomson will connect the Scottish capital to Cancún, Mexico, between June and August next year. Cancún is a resort located on the Yucatán Peninsula in the extreme east of Mexico. The city enjoys a tropical climate throughout much of the year, excepting the odd hurricane, and is famous for its aquamarine seas and modest Mayan structures.
Sanford in Orlando, Florida, will be the second long-haul route to be offered by Thomson in 2012. Known by the unusual nickname, Celery City, due to the nature of the crops grown in the surrounding area in the early twentieth century, Sanford is a landlocked city on the St. Johns River. Sanford may seem like an unremarkable destination, when compared to Cancún, at least, but Sanford Orlando Airport is within an hour’s drive of Disney World, making it an ideal starting point for fans of theme parks and cartoon oddballs. Flights to Sanford will operate from Edinburgh during July and August.
The introduction of Thomson’s new routes could reignite the rivalry between Glasgow and Edinburgh airports, by encouraging competition in the long-haul flights market. In Scotland, the sector has historically been dominated by airlines flying from Glasgow: the Abbotsinch hub offers routes to Toronto and Calgary in Canada, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and Lahore in Pakistan, among others. Glasgow also offers Thomson-branded flights to Cancún and Sanford, which will almost invariably lose passengers from the east of Scotland when Edinburgh’s summer 2012 campaign takes off.
Kevin Brown, chief at Edinburgh Airport, said that he was now looking to secure a route to a Middle Eastern airport, such as Dubai, to facilitate indirect flights to Asia and Australia.