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New African route as Glasgow gears up for long haul

18.07.08

Scottish long haul travel will be ‘revolutionised’ as the number of intercontinental routes continues to rise, the Herrald reports. The claims come as a holiday airline announced a new direc route to Africa.

Improvements at Glasgow Airport, plus the introduction of a revolutionary new long haul plane, could pave the way for non-stop flights to western Australia within the next few years. Some of Britain's leading airlines are already considering direct routes to Central America and sub-Saharan Africa from the hub, the newspaper claims.

The bright future was predicted as Continental Airlines celebrated the tenth anniversary of its Glasgow Airport - New York route, the longest-running transatlantic service from Scotland. More than a million passengers have flown the route since it started.

A spokesman for the airport predicted big things on the horizon once facilities at Glasgow are improved to accommodate a new aircraft. He said: ‘The arrival of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is expected to come into operation next year, will really revolutionise long-haul travel from Scotland. You have airlines talking about flying to Costa Rica, and you could see direct flights from Glasgow to the west coast of Australia, without stopping.’

The Dreamliner is the most environmentally friendly passenger plane yet developed, and it is able to fly more than 15,000km. It is lighter than other aircraft, so uses less fuel and can fly longer distances. A number of UK airlines, including BA, Virgin, First Choice and Monarch, have placed orders for the aircraft.

However, Thomas Cook will later this month launch a new direct service from Glasgow to Gambia in West Africa, The Herald reports. The airline will carry passengers direct from Glasgow Airport to the Gambian capital, Banjul, operating on a weekly basis from November.

Frank Pullman, managing director of Thomas Cook Airlines, told the newspaper: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for Glaswegians to enjoy an exotic and unusual destination from their local airport.’

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