Birmingham presents case to United for Chicago flights

By on 26/10/2011 in News

Representatives from Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Airport today met with senior managers from the world's leading airline, and later the Chicago Aviation Commissioner, to press the case for direct flights between Chicago and Birmingham to be reintroduced.

Top of the agenda at the meeting was discussions on the economic, social and tourism case for reintroduction of direct flights between the two cities, which have forged ever stronger links, especially in the areas of business and education, since formally becoming 'Sister Cities' in 1993.

Re-establishing the route would not only save valuable time to the countless businesses already engaged in trans-Atlantic activity, but also further boost the appeal for new ventures and relationships between the wider Midlands and Mid-West regions to be formed.

Cllr Whitby said: “Ultimately of course we want to see a direct flight between Birmingham and Chicago. As leading global cities which play a key role in driving the economies and international business activity of the UK and US respectively direct point to point connectivity is needed.

“I am delighted by these talks and I am so encouraged by the progress that we have made with the promise of an even stronger and growing relationship with United.

“They are one of the largest carriers in the world and they are willing to consider more business in and with Birmingham. Adding to our global connectivity that Birmingham must have to confirm its place as a city of growth.”

Charles Duncan, Vice President Sales - Transatlantic, Middle East and India, United, said:  “It was good to meet the Birmingham delegation at our Chicago headquarters this week. It is clear to me that the leadership understands the importance of aviation and the positive impact it can have on regional growth.  We review development opportunities on an ongoing basis, including our UK regional services.”

The US is the largest inward investor to Birmingham and the West Midlands, investing £2bn since 2003. Over 350 North American companies, including Microsoft, Motorola and Kraft Foods – which is headquartered in Chicago – provide employment for 60,000 people in the area.

The potential economic, social and cultural benefits to be reaped if these flights were in place would be significant and would be a real demonstration of the natural links that exist between Birmingham, the Midlands and north America.

ENDS

For more information please contafct Simon Houltby on 0121 303 3503

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