The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 12 January 2006

New air routes between

Prestwick and Poland

NEW air routes between Prestwick and three Polish cities are to be launched with the support of the Scottish Executive's Route Development Fund.

Wizz Air will operate Airbus A320s on a year-round service three times a week between the Ayrshire airport and Gdansk, Katowice and Warsaw.

The Gdansk and Warsaw routes begin on March 26 and Katowice will be included from July 17 this summer.

Transport Minister Tavish Scott said: "Poland is increasingly becoming a popular destination for business people and tourists, offering links to the country's emerging economy and the rest of Eastern Europe.

"This new service will also help attract people from these countries to come and live and work in Scotland and will give our tourist industry a boost by attracting even more visitors from that part of the world.

"Our Route Development Fund continues to deliver real economic benefits for Scotland - making a real difference for business travellers and tourists by expanding our direct air services to the rest of the world."

Mary McLaughlin, Director of Transport at Scottish Enterprise which co-funds and manages the Route Development Fund, said: "Business links with Poland are stronger than ever before and these new routes will do much to help Scottish companies secure a share of the substantial opportunities on offer in Poland and its neighbours in Eastern Europe."

The Route Development Fund has made £12.4 million available for investment in strategic air routes.

In October last year Centralwings began its Edinburgh to Warsaw service. In December it was also announced there would be services to Gdansk and Katowice from March 27 and 28 respectively.

November saw the launch of Ryanair's Prestwick to Krakow service and in December SkyEurope announced its intention to operate between Edinburgh and Krakow from April this year.

Wizz Air is the largest Central and Eastern European-based low-fare airline. Formed in June 2003, it carried 1,889,608 passengers in 2005.

The Wizz Air fleet comprises six 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. The airline has established bases in Katowice, Warsaw, Gdansk in Poland and Budapest in Hungary and flies to 17 European destinations on 32 routes.

To acquire investment from the RDF, airlines have to demonstrate that services will have a direct economic benefit to Scotland. The flights must involve regularly scheduled services and must not undermine existing flights.

Exact amounts given to airlines are not disclosed due to reasons of commercial confidentiality.

Scottish Executive

Prestwick Airport