Scottish travellers’ favourite international holiday spots are Houston, New York and Varadero, according to new details released today.
More than half-a-million Scots made their way to Manchester Airport last year to head for sunnier climes, and other long-haul routes Scots also prefer include Orlando, Punta Cana, Barbados and Cancun.
The airport said that as well as providing holiday destinations, a lot of the routes link Scotland with key economic hubs and trade opportunities across the globe.
The top 10 most popular long-haul routes in Scotland are:
Orlando operated by Virgin Atlantic, TUI and Thomas Cook Airlines;
Punta Cana operated by Thomas Cook Airlines;
Cancun operated by Thomas Cook Airlines and TUI;
Houston operated by Singapore Airlines;
New York operated by Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, and Jet2;
Barbados operated by Virgin Atlantic, TUI and Thomas Cook Airlines;
Varadero operated by Thomas Cook Airlines;
Jamaica operated by Thomas Cook Airlines and TUI;
Sal Island operated by Thomas Cook Airlines and TUI;
Boston operated by Thomas Cook Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
In recent years Manchester Airport has added numerous long-haul routes to its network that in the UK, can only be found at the north of England travel hub, or in London. These include Beijing, San Francisco, Boston, Muscat, Houston and Hong Kong to name a few.
Manchester Airport says it is for this reason that it pulls in so many passengers from a vast catchment area as people want to fly direct rather than going through other airports or travelling down to the congested capital.
Many of these routes are providing vital connectivity to international markets for key sectors like tech, life sciences, energy and advanced manufacturing.
Manchester Airport’s long-haul routes are also bringing hundreds of thousands of international tourists to the Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Highlands each year, providing a boost to hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions.
Julian Carr, aviation director for Manchester Airport, said: ‘It is interesting to see the mix of destinations and how they differ from county to county across our vast catchment area.
‘It is clear Manchester Airport is providing vital access to people across the North and beyond to key sites of economic opportunity, holidays and the chance to visit loved ones abroad.
‘Whether people want to fly from Glasgow to Goa, Aberdeen to Atlanta, or the Highlands to Houston, we will continue to strive to offer and secure all our 27.8m passengers a broad range of destinations.’
As well as adding numerous destinations in recent years, 2018 will be the airport’s busiest ever year and will see the launch of direct flights to Seattle, with Thomas Cook Airlines, again making Manchester the only non-London airport in the UK with this route.
It will also see the biggest ever investment in the airport as the £1bn transformation continues at pace.