Pilot brands Edinburgh his 'favourite city' as he retires after 27 years in cockpit

A pilot made his final flight from Edinburgh as he retires following a 27 year career.

United Airlines captain, Joe Fox, selected Edinburgh as his 'favourite city' for his final day on the job. After a career in aviation spanning more than four decades, he was presented with a special gift from Edinburgh Airport for his work on Thursday morning.

Joe told how his 'love affair' with Edinburgh goes back as far as 45 years and said that the city is "dear to his heart".

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Joe said: "Edinburgh is very dear to my heart. When I was an exchange student in Nottingham back in 1978 I took many trips here. Hitchhiking up to Edinburgh, visiting the Highlands, seeing Loch Ness. I have great memories.

"It's my favourite city. I just love it here, it's got a great vibe. The past two and a half to three years I've flown Edinburgh a lot and it's been a real treat.

"I was blessed to bring my family with me on this last trip. We've had awesome weather. We visited Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill, we did the Castle, spent some time around the Royal Mile, and of course we visited a couple of pubs!"

Joe started his pilot career when he began his time in the US Air Force where he flew for 10 decades. He now lives in Florida with his wife Lea - a former United Airlines pilot herself - and their five kids, including twins Andrew and Matthew who are both licenced pilots with ambitions of joining United.

The airport's Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer Gordon Robertson met Captain Fox to hand over a special print of the city ahead of his final flight, a service from EDI to Newark, on Thursday morning.

He said: “It's been a great career, I'm so blessed and grateful.

"Today my last flight with United is going to be a special occasion. I'm so blessed to have been able to travel the world, to have been on every continent. It's been awesome.

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"I have five kids and for the next year or so I'm going to spend more time with my kids and my family. I'm looking at more potential flying opportunities, part time maybe in the private or corporate world."

A spokesperson for United Airlines said: "We express our deepest gratitude to Captain Fox for his 27 years of exceptional service and unwavering dedication as a pilot at United Airlines.

"We wish Captain Fox all the best on his new journey ahead. United has a proud history of serving Scotland, with this year marking our 20th anniversary flying from Edinburgh to New York/Newark."