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Paisley Buddie to play it right in Manhattan


A Paisley playwright is set to deliver performances of her play in New York as part of an international theatre exchange after receiving support from the Renfrewshire Culture, Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF).


Karen Herbison at Glasgow Airport departures on her way to New York

Karen Herbison, who operates as H-arts, will put on performances of ‘Say You Love Me’ just a stone’s throw from the famous Broadway theatre district later this month. The play has previously been a success at the world renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

H-arts was one of the first recipients of support from CHEF which is a key component of Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021. The £500,000 fund was created with the aim of unlocking Renfrewshire’s creative potential by helping the region’s cultural community run its own events and projects in the build up to the bid.

‘Say You Love Me’ will be produced by Mind The Gap Theatre- who boast revered actresses Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Judi Dench on their board of advisors. The production company are well known for taking the best of British theatre to New York every year- with productions ranging from short plays to full length features.

Karen and the team from her production company, Punch Productions, will put on three performances at the distinguished Duplex venue, known as an international destination for arts and entertainment. While in New York, Karen will also attend a number of theatrical workshops and meetings with the local cultural community to help generate interest in and support for Paisley 2021.

Upon her return from the USA, Karen aims to take ‘Say You Love Me’ on a tour of Renfrewshire’s high schools. She will also deliver creative workshops, covering many aspects of the writing process, to pupils studying Higher and Advanced Higher English.

‘Say You Love Me’ offers the audience a unique experience as it’s a theatrical performance which can take place in any public setting. Since writing the play in 2008, Karen has staged performances with the help and support of her Punch Production colleagues, Cheri Smith and Jon Cuthbertson, in a wide variety of venues, including most recently Bernie’s Café in Bridge of Weir.

Taking place in a restaurant setting, this current run of the play is designed to let the audience get close and listen in to what is happening at an adjacent table where the cast are playing out the story.

Critics have described ‘Say You Love Me’ as intimate, funny, explosive and poignant.

Karen Herbison said: “I’m incredibly excited about taking my play to New York and giving audiences there an experience of culture which has been created in Paisley. Since writing the play, it has always been a dream of mine to have it performed off Broadway and the support from CHEF has made that possible.

“I would encourage any Renfrewshire-based groups with ambitions of getting local people actively involved in cultural activities to apply to the Culture, Heritage and Events and Fund. It is a great initiative which is helping to make culture more accessible across Renfrewshire.”

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “We’ve had an amazing response to our Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, showing that there is a real appetite to get involved in culture across Renfrewshire.  Karen and H-arts is a prime example of that and I wish her all the best in New York and upon her return when she takes ‘Say You Love Me’ on a tour of our schools in Renfrewshire.”

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is taking place as part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using its unique cultural and heritage offering as the home of the Paisley Pattern and the one-time centre of the global textile industry.

Bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in spring 2017.

For more information on Paisley 2021, visit  www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

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Glasgow Airport preparing for the Oct Week rush

glasgow airport


More than 160,000 passengers expected this weekend 

Glasgow Airport is today gearing up for one of its busiest periods of the year as tens of thousands of holidaymakers prepare to jet off for the October holiday week.

glasgow airport

Over 160,000 people are expected to pass through the airport between today and Monday 17 October with many flying out to popular sunspots in the Canary Islands and Florida and city break destinations such as Prague, Dublin, Milan, Paris, Berlin, Las Vegas, and New York.

In anticipation of the busy period ahead, the airport and its airline partners will have extra staff on hand to help guide passengers, particularly those with young children, through check-in.

Francois Bourienne, Glasgow Airport’s commercial director, said: “The October school break is a huge week for us, and follows on from the busiest summer in our 50-year history when we welcomed nearly three million passengers through our doors between June and August. This weekend in particular will be very busy and we are expecting to welcome even more passengers than we did during the same period in 2015.

“To ensure our customers enjoy a smooth journey through the airport we will draft in more staff across the terminal over the weekend, while young children can enjoy face-painting and other arts and crafts hosted by the airport’s ambassadors at our designated Kids’ Zone on Friday and Saturday.

“As always during peak periods at the airport, we advise customers to arrive in plenty of time to get through check-in and security.”

Towards the end of this month Ryanair will launch four new winter sun routes to Alicante, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Malaga, while Thomson will introduce a new Cape Verde service.

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Glasgow Airport passenger figures release

Amanda McMillan, MD, Glasgow Airport


  • 4.2% increase in September’s passenger numbers
  • EU scheduled services up 12%

Glasgow Airport has recorded its busiest September in 50 years after 934,295 passengers travelled through its doors, representing an annual increase of 4.2%.

Amanda McMillan, MD, Glasgow Airport

Domestic and international traffic grew by 4.2% and 4.3% respectively with major events, such as the Davis Cup and Celtic’s participation in the Champions League proving big draws for visitors to the city.

Strong demand for Ryanair’s service to Derry and extra capacity on easyJet’s Bristol and Belfast services bolstered domestic travel. International passenger numbers were also boosted by a 12% rise in EU scheduled services with flights to Brussels, Paris, Milan and Barcelona all proving popular.

September also saw the launch of Ryanair’s new direct flights to Sofia, Bulgaria and Icelandair added further capacity by increasing its Reykjavik route to a daily service.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Our strong performance throughout the year continued in September, which was also the fourth consecutive month the airport carried more than 900,000 passengers.

“We are on course to record our most successful year and this success can be attributed to our continued focus on not only attracting new services, but working closely with our current airlines to enhance existing services.

“Looking ahead, we are now gearing up for the October Week, which is traditionally our busiest period of the year as tens of thousands of passengers jet off on both sun and ski breaks.

“October will see Ryanair launch four new routes to Alicante, Malaga, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote and the introduction of Thomson’s new Cape Verde service.”

Traffic summary

September 2016

Terminal passengers




October 2015 to September 2016 %


934,295 4.2% 9,209,917 8.17%
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Business leaders hear of Council’s integrated approach to economic regeneration and tackling poverty


Business leaders met with a senior team from Renfrewshire Council this week to hear about the local authority’s plans to boost the region’s profile and economy.


At an event hosted by Amanda McMillan, Chief Executive Officer of AGS Airports – operator of Glasgow Airport, business leaders from some of Renfrewshire’s biggest companies heard about the Council’s wide ranging plans for economic regeneration and tackling poverty.

Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan was joined at the event by directors from companies including Diageo, Gas Measurement Systems, Gordon Leslie Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intu Braehead, Malcolm Group, Scottish Leather Group, Spectrum Service Solutions, and Thermo Fisher.

Representatives from organisations such as Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, University of the West of Scotland, and West College Scotland also attended.

Attendees were presented with a copy of the Council’s new draft economic framework, which draws together existing strategies and initiatives to drive the region’s economy forward during the next two years. The draft framework will be the subject of a series of consultations with stakeholders from the private, public and third sectors, with this week’s event being the latest in that series.

Council Leader Macmillan said: “We want Renfrewshire to prosper and grow, and we have a great number of assets within our region to help us achieve that goal. We want to create more and better jobs for local people through supporting growing businesses, attracting new investment and ensuring the foundations are in place to sustain the economy in the long term.

“Working with our partners, we can collectively build Renfrewshire’s profile both nationally and internationally, as part of the wider Glasgow City region and cement our position as Scotland’s economic powerhouse.

“Our Economic Framework provides a clear sense of direction and will be instrumental in achieving a fairer, more inclusive Renfrewshire where all our people, communities and businesses thrive.”

Central to the economic rejuvenation of Renfrewshire is its participation in the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which will deliver an investment of £274 million for Renfrewshire in infrastructure projects. The region’s three projects will create thousands of jobs, a new bridge linking Renfrew to the north side of the river, an investment area with Glasgow Airport at its heart, and the long-awaited rail link between Glasgow Airport and the City Centre, via Paisley Gilmour Street.

The Council is fully committed to making these projects a reality in the near future and the Council leader met with the Transport Minister earlier this month to seek assurances that delivery of the Glasgow Airport Access Project is a priority for the Scottish Government.

Relative to the rest of Scotland, Renfrewshire boasts one of the best qualified populations and highest employment rates in the country. However, the region also has areas of significant deprivation within its boundaries and tackling these inequalities is a key focus of the Council.

That strategy includes Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, which aims to harness the town’s internationally significant collection of heritage and cultural assets to transform the region’s future. Paisley’s bid is already well under way with awareness of the long-lasting social, economic and cultural benefits which a successful bid would deliver, generating strong support.

Council Leader Macmillan continued: “Bidding for UK City of Culture in 2021 is a once in a generation opportunity to harness culture to help tackle poverty in some of our most deprived communities in Paisley and across Renfrewshire.

“Culture is an incredibly powerful tool in helping to inspire people and support them in realising their potential. We want to give everybody in Renfrewshire the motivation and support they need to feel good about themselves and achieve their own ambitions in life.

“The UK City of Culture bid also has the capability to accelerate our economic vision as it will bring an estimated one million additional visitors to Renfrewshire, delivering significant stimulus to our tourism, creative and cultural economies.”

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Businesses provide their views on Glasgow Airport Access Project

glasgow airport

A survey of businesses from across the West of Scotland, designed to give them a say on the Glasgow Airport Access Project (AAP) has closed, with early results indicating a strong level of support for the project.

glasgow airport

The AAP is the flagship project of the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal and is intended to provide a rail link between Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow Airport via Paisley Gilmour Street station.

The survey, issued by the Renfrewshire and Glasgow Chambers of Commerce, sought the business community’s views on the potential economic benefits of the AAP and the two options for the airport link. Results from the survey, which closed on Friday 2nd September, will be used to help inform the choice between the two options.

The full results are currently being collated and evaluated by the project team in an appraisal process which will be included in the Outline Business Case. That is expected to be presented for consideration to Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board and Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee in December 2016.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said; “The business community is central to our drive to create permanent jobs and revitalise Renfrewshire’s economy, and the Glasgow Airport Access Project is a key component of that strategy.

“We’re pleased that businesses, of all sizes, took the opportunity to have a direct input into the project. While we’re just beginning to analyse the results, early indications are that the local business community is right behind the project and eager for it to be delivered as soon as possible.

“Glasgow Airport is Renfrewshire’s economic engine and its continuing success is vital to the future of the wider economy of the Glasgow City Region. The AAP will promote and support growth by offering passengers a better experience and improving links with the already existing transport network.

“In order for this project to progress, the transport agency Transport Scotland, needs to include it in future rail planning proposals due to be finalised next year. The project’s inclusion in this document is critical.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “A new direct link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre is essential for the thousands of travellers who fly into and out of Glasgow every day.

“The Glasgow City Region City Deal will deliver that link, generating jobs and inward investment. I’d like to thank all of the businesses who proactively engaged with the business survey, as we value the input of those who will ultimately benefit from the project.

“We’ll be looking for the full support of the Scottish Government and its agency, Transport Scotland, to not only commit to helping us deliver the rail link but also to speed up its delivery.”

Councillors Macmillan and McAveety are meeting with Transport Minister Humza Yousaf tomorrow (14 September) to press the case for including the £144 million project in high-level rail plans due to be finalised next year and critical to the successful delivery of the project.

One option for the AAP is a tram-train link which would provide passengers with a direct link between Glasgow Central station and Glasgow Airport. It would run on the existing heavy rail network before switching onto a new tram line from Paisley to the airport terminal building.

The estimated cost of the tram-train link is £144.3m. This includes construction, rolling stock, inflation and land acquisition.

The other option is a light-rail, Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system where passengers would travel by normal train to Paisley Gilmour Street. At Paisley Gilmour Street they would change onto a new light-rail system to complete their journey.

Around 30 airlines operate from Glasgow Airport, serving 120 destinations around the globe and moving more than nine million passengers. In one month alone, July 2016, more than one million passengers passed through the airport, a significant increase on the corresponding week during the previous year of 6.4%.

The AAP will be delivered by Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council. Glasgow Airport, Transport Scotland and Network Rail are key stakeholders. Construction is expected to start in 2022 with services scheduled to begin in 2025.

See www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/citydeal for more information on Renfrewshire’s other City Deal projects.

See www.glasgowcityregion.co.uk for more information on the Glasgow City Region City Deal projects. Follow us on Twitter: @GlasgowCityDeal


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Glasgow Airport reports busiest summer on record

Amanda McMillan, Glasgow Airport May 2015



  • 7.4% increase in August passenger numbers
  • Three million passengers during peak summer months

Glasgow Airport has recorded its busiest summer on record after more than 943,000 passengers travelled through its doors in August representing a 7.4% increase on the same period last year.

Amanda McMillan, Glasgow Airport May 2015

It means that almost three million passengers used Glasgow Airport during the peak summer months of June, July and August ensuring the airport remains on course to record its busiest year since it first opened its doors 50 years ago.

Domestic traffic grew by 8.3% during August with Flybe, easyJet and Ryanair all reporting an increase in demand for their UK services.

International traffic grew by 6.3% and benefited from the extra capacity added by Canadian carriers WestJet, Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat. EU scheduled services increased by 13.5% with Wizz Air, Blue Air and Air France, which joined the airport earlier this year, all showing strong demand during the month.

Amanda McMillan, chief executive of AGS Airports and managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “August was an extremely busy month for the airport. We welcomed Scotland’s first direct service with Seoul which saw more than 1,000 South Korean tourists use Glasgow as a gateway to Scotland and events such as the World Pipe Band Championships also brought thousands of visitors to the city.

“Alongside our efforts in securing new routes for Scotland we have made significant progress with our £27 million investment programme. Construction of our dedicated car rental facility is underway and we will open a number of new food outlets in the coming weeks including celebrity chef James Martin’s new café.

“The launch of Ryanair’s Sofia service has helped us make a strong start to September. The airline has also confirmed it will further strengthen our European connectivity with the introduction in 2017 of flights to Lisbon, Valencia, Palanga in Lithuania and to the Croatian city of Zadar. The Davis Cup at the Emirates Arena and Celtic’s participation in the Champions League will also contribute to what we expect to be yet another month of growth for the airport.”

Traffic summary

August 2016

Terminal passengers




September 2015 to August 2016 %


943,146 7.4% 9,171,616 9.17%
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Renfrew, the Highlands and the Islands: connected through the clouds

Sheila Harper, daughter of pilot Captain Barclay, and Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall unveil the restored monument

Renfrew’s historical link to the Scottish Air Ambulance Service (SAAS) has been strengthened with the restoration of a monument in the town.

Sheila Harper, daughter of pilot Captain Barclay, and Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall unveil the restored monument

Sheila Harper, daughter of pilot Captain Barclay, and Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall unveil the restored monument

Until services transferred to Glasgow Airport in 1966, Renfrew provided a vital link to the Highlands and Islands transporting seriously ill patients to hospital in Glasgow- saving countless lives in the process.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall was joined by Sheila Harper, daughter of Captain Barclay who unveiled the original monument in 1966, to reveal the newly renovated memorial at a special service in Renfrew.

Commissioner Keith Banks, Glasgow Airport Chaplain, led a ceremony to around 150 people- many of whom have direct connections with the Air Ambulance Service having served as nurses, been patients and even being born on board a flight- who were in attendance to see the restored monument being unveiled.

Housed at the corner of Newmains Road and Sandy Road, the project was undertaken by Renfrewshire Council who worked closely with the local community to organise the refurbishment of the memorial which had fallen into disrepair.

The cairn features stones from the many different islands in which the air ambulance served- including Islay, Skye and Benbecula among others- and the restoration work has ensured that these originals have remained in place.

The monument is in place as a tribute to the all men and women of the Scottish Air Ambulance Service who operated from Renfrew Airport and in special recognition of the sacrifice made by Captain T. M Calderwood, Radio Officer H. McGinlay and Nursing Sister J. Kennedy who lost their lives in service on 28 September 1957.

The first recorded flight in Scotland was from Renfrew to Islay on 14 May 1933 when pilot Jimmy Orrell flew to collect seriously ill fisherman John McDermid.

By coincidence Mrs Ferguson, a nurse from Glasgow, was on holiday in Islay at the time and offered to travel back with John to ensure his survival.

Thanks to both the skill of the pilot and medical attention of Nurse Ferguson, 90 minutes later John underwent a life saving operation at Glasgow’s Western Infirmary.

From this dramatic beginning in 1933, the SAAS came into being and connections between the town of Renfrew and some of Scotland’s most remote communities were forged.

Throughout the 1950’s public desire for foreign holidays grew rapidly and Renfrew Airport became too small to handle the extra demand.

On the 30th April 1966, all services transferred to what is now Glasgow Airport and the Scottish Ambulance Service continues to provide vital medical links for remote communities from the location today.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “I’m delighted to see the memorial has been given such a fantastic makeover through the hard work and dedication of those involved.

“The Scottish Air Ambulance Service is an important part of Renfrew’s history and has saved numerous lives across the years by providing such a vital service.

“While the airport in Renfrew may no longer be around, the memorial ensures that all who have been a part of the service, and who still are, are recognised appropriately.”

Effie McGachie, President of Renfrew Community Council, said: “It’s been absolutely awesome, truly wonderful.

“The monument has been in need of restoration for a while now and I’m delighted that this is now in place for the people of Renfrew to enjoy.

“I would also like to recognise the hard work of Community Councillors Pat Watson and James Gamble in arranging today’s event.”

The restoration was supported by Renfrew Community Council and completed thanks to funding received from Renfrewshire Council, the Renfrew and Gallowhill Local Area Committee and the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund

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Glasgow Airport soars as more than one million passengers take to the skies in July

Glasgow Airport exterior 18.12.14

Glasgow Airport’s monthly passenger numbers topped the one million mark in July.

Glasgow Airport exterior 18.12.14

A total of 1,018,433 people travelled through the airport representing a 6.4% increase on the same period last year for Glasgow Airport, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016.

Domestic traffic increased by 1.8% with both easyJet and Flybe increasing capacity following increased demand for their UK services.

The airport reported a 9.4% surge on international passenger numbers with long-haul carriers Emirates and Virgin Atlantic both reporting a strong increase in demand.

EU scheduled services increased by 16.1% as thousands of passengers headed for sunnier climes in the Mediterranean and city breaks in Milan, Munich and the recently-launched Marseilles route.

Three of the latest carriers to arrive – Air France, Canada Rouge and Blue Air – each reported strong passenger numbers during their first summer at Glasgow Airport.

The passenger figures capped off a hugely successful month for Glasgow as the airport welcomed thousands of golfing fans attending The Open at Royal Troon, while the summer holiday getaway period also reached its peak in July. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal also visited the terminal earlier in the month to officially commemorate Glasgow Airport’s 50th anniversary.

Amanda McMillan, chief executive of AGS Airports and managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “July is traditionally our busiest month, but to exceed the one million passenger mark is yet another significant achievement for Glasgow Airport in a year filled with milestones.

“Our strong performance in 2016 is a reflection of our continued efforts to enhance existing services and in attracting new routes such as this month’s in-bound Korean Air charter flights – Scotland’s first direct air link with South Korean capital Seoul.

“Route development continues to be a key priority in driving growth at the airport. In October Ryanair will introduce two city break destinations to Sofia and Brussels and four new winter sun services to Alicante,  Malaga, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, marking the two-year anniversary of the airline’s operations at Glasgow Airport.

“August is already proving busy thanks to large-scale events such as Glasgow’s annual Piping Live festival, which will see thousands of international visitors and participating musicians travel through the airport this month.”

Traffic summary

July 2016

Terminal passengers




August 2015 to July 2016 %


1,018,433 6.42% 9,174,791 10.47%


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Glasgow Airport records busies June on record

Amanda McMillan, Glasgow Airport May 2015

4.4% increase in June’s passenger numbers

Glasgow Airport, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, has recorded its busiest June on record after almost 950,000 passengers travelled through its doors representing an increase of 4.4% on the same period last year.

Amanda McMillan, Glasgow Airport May 2015

Domestic and international traffic grew by 3.2% and 5.2% respectively with British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair all reporting an increase in demand for their London services.

The airport’s success in strengthening its European connectivity saw demand for EU scheduled destinations increase by 12%. Airlines including Wizz Air, Blue Air and Air France, which joined the airport earlier this year, all recorded growth during the month.

The news capped what was a successful month for Glasgow during which it was crowned Best Airport in Europe with 5-10 million passengers. This followed its success at being named Scottish Airport of the Year 2016.

Amanda McMillan, chief executive of AGS Airports and managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “June is traditionally one of our busiest months of the year with the arrival of the school holidays and last month saw an unprecedented number of passengers choose to start their holiday from Glasgow Airport.

“From a route development perspective, we continued to strengthen our long haul connectivity when we welcomed Air Canada Rouge on board and Delta Air Lines also confirmed it will introduce direct flights between Glasgow and New York-JFK in May 2017.

“Alongside our efforts in expanding our route network, we are making marked progress with our £25 million terminal redevelopment programme. In June we welcomed luxury fragrance store Jo Malone and a number of leading restaurant brands will open new outlets over the coming weeks. Work is also underway on a new consolidated car rental facility, so passengers can expect to see a number of significant developments in the months ahead.”


Traffic summary

June 2016

Terminal passengers




July 2015 to June 2016 %


946,315 4.4% 9,118,612 10.1%



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Virgin Atlantic announces additional capacity for popular Orlando route from Glasgow Airport

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has announced additional capacity on its popular Glasgow to Orlando service for summer 2017.

Virgin Atlantic

Almost 5,000 extra seats will be made available as a result of the airline’s decision to introduce four flights per week to Orlando during June and July 2017. This is in addition to Virgin Atlantic’s twice weekly service which runs between May and October 2017.

All services will be operated by one of the airline’s fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft which features Virgin Atlantic’s award winning Upper Class in addition to the Premium Economy and Economy products.

Steven Marshall, Glasgow Airport’s Head of Airline Marketing & Development, said: “Since launching in 2007, Virgin Atlantic’s direct flights to Orlando, Florida have been a huge success and we are very proud to have a strong brand such as Virgin Atlantic here at Glasgow Airport.

“Florida has always been a popular destination among Scottish holidaymakers and the decision to increase capacity on this route is a clear demonstration of Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to the Glasgow market. It is also a direct response to the marked increase in demand for Virgin’s flights and we’re looking forward to welcoming the jumbo 747 four times per week during the peak summer months.”

Earlier this year, Virgin Atlantic announced it will introduce a winter service to Orlando which will take off on 16 November and run until 17 March 2017. In June, Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partner Delta Air Lines announced it will launch nonstop flights between Glasgow and New York-JFK in May 2017.