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In Rouge

Press Release   •   Jul 03, 2013 00:00 BST

The only non-stop flight between Canada and Scotland’s capital was launched at Edinburgh Airport today (Wednesday 3 July 2013).

Air Canada rouge, the new leisure airline from Air Canada, will operate three flights a week between Edinburgh and Toronto with the first flight arriving in Edinburgh today (3 July).

Canadian visitors already generate £83 million a year for the Scottish economy and VisitScotland says the new route will provide a further boost to this important market.

The national tourism organisation already markets Scotland extensively to Canadians. This includes leading sales missions to Toronto and Montréal, hosting Canadian tour operators at its annual expo trade show, and reaching more than 18 million Canadians through its ‘Life is Like…” campaign. A recent VisitScotland competition saw 4,500 Canadians entering to win a dream trip to Scotland.

In September, VisitScotland will be taking part in Destination Britain North America in Las Vegas. Organised by VisitBritain, the event will see VisitScotland staff meeting with Canadian and American tour operators, promoting exciting Scottish events such as the Year of Natural Scotland, Homecoming 2014, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:

“The launch of this new direct route is an amazing moment for Edinburgh in what has been a long and important relationship between Canada and Scotland.  With this new direct route another part of the network jigsaw is complete.

“Canadians have always had a strong affiliation with our country and, as we prepare to welcome the world with Homecoming, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in 2014, the timing of this new service is perfect. We look forward to welcoming many more visitors from across the Atlantic over the summer.”

Michael Friisdahl, President and CEO of Air Canada rouge, said:

“We are excited to launch this new route between Toronto and Edinburgh today, which marks one of our first three flights from Canada to Europe.  Customers will experience a new kind of leisure travel with outstanding customer service, uncompromised safety, a relaxed in-flight environment and a host of Air Canada benefits; all at competitive fares.  With Air Canada rouge you can truly vacation ahead.”

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Air Canada to Edinburgh Airport and we are sure they’ll have a very successful summer with us.This new direct service from Toronto to Edinburgh is yet another example of how we listen to our customers and work hard to ensure they have the best choice of routes possible.

“Edinburgh Airport is where Scotland meets the world and it’s hugely exciting to now offer a direct service to Canada which I’m sure our Canadian and Scottish passengers will take full advantage of. Toronto is an important international hub for us and this new route will allow us to establish and maintain crucial trade links for both economies. We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with Air Canada and giving our passengers from Canada, the USA and beyond, a taste of what Scotland has to offer.”


Notes to Editors

Additional background information and visual materials are available for downloading from the Air Canada Media Centre at:

Notes to Editors:

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to 
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to