Fights between the North and the USA resume from one week today on Monday 8th November after the American government confirmed it will be opening its borders to British visitors again.
Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said that prior to the pandemic more than three million passengers a year crossed the pond from its catchment area.
The first stateside bound flights from Manchester will be Virgin Atlantic services to Orlando and New York, with Orlando being the first departure. The Orlando service will depart at 10:10am, whilst the New York flight will leave at 13:10pm. Following this, routes to Atlanta and Houston will also return over the coming weeks and months.
This includes the launch of routes by Aer Lingus, with the Irish carrier opening a new base in the North for the first time, creating 153 jobs.
News of the return of transatlantic services has been hailed by business and tourism chiefs, who say the direct routes will unlock wide-ranging economic, trade and tourism opportunities.
In 2019, more than 307,000 Americans visited the North of England, spending more than £156m across the region. As well as the trade benefits of being linked to economic powerhouses like New York City, the direct connectivity also unlocks vast journey time savings, meaning businesses across the North can save thousands of manhours each year.
Furthermore, 43 universities within Manchester Airport’s two-hour catchment area will also benefit from these routes returning. The US is third on the list of most common countries of origin for international students at UK universities, with 20,000 American students enrolled at British higher education institutions in 2019/20.
Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said: “After almost two years with no flights to the USA, it is great to finally look forward to re-connecting the region with some of our most popular and important destinations.
“Not only are our US routes well loved by holidaymakers, but they are also vital to the Northern economy and the prosperity of the region. Whether that is through the trade and investment opportunities the direct connectivity unlocks, to the inbound tourism the routes bring in, as Americans flock to key destinations like the Lake District, North Wales and York, plus to city breaks favourites like Liverpool and Manchester.
“I look forward to working closely with our airline partners as more services come back to Manchester, plus I would encourage businesses and other organisations with links to the US to get in touch so we can help them unlock their potential through our international reach.”
Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said
“Reopening the economic corridor between Manchester and the US will be a significant boost for the Northern economy in terms of both trade and inbound tourism, also reinforcing our ability across the Northern Powerhouse to attract foreign investment from the US.
“Manchester Airport acts as a gateway to the north for the whole world, allowing the North to build stronger economic ties with Asia including China, Africa as well as continental Europe."
Ashley Young, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager for Make It York said: "Pre-pandemic, the US were the top market visiting York from overseas. The US accounted for 16% of 289,000 overseas visitors to York in 2018, and they historically have a higher spend in the city than domestic visitors. As transatlantic travel reopens, US visitors could have a large impact on York's tourism recovery and we look forward to welcoming more overseas visitors to our city when it is safe to do so."