TRANSATLANTIC trade and tourism received a welcome boost with the return of flights between the north and the US taking off today for the first time in almost two years.
Manchester Airport has welcomed the return of services to a number of US destinations after the American government confirmed it will be opening its borders to British visitors again.
Before the pandemic, the UK’s third largest gateway was among the best-connected to the States in Europe, with more than three million passengers a year crossing the pond from its catchment area.
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The first stateside bound flights from Manchester were Virgin Atlantic services to Orlando and New York, with Orlando being the first departure.
Routes to Atlanta and Houston will return in 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.
Karen Smart, managing director of Manchester Airport, said: “After almost two years with no flights to the USA, it is great to finally re-connect 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.”