Phoenix, the international city of tomorrow

When it comes to an American city with an international reach, some may think of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, or San Francisco. But Phoenix is now carving out its own corner of the international market with the latest news of a new nonstop transatlantic flight from Sky Harbor to London Heathrow Airport.

As CBN recently reported, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport will begin sky-mailing passengers from the international flight hub to London beginning March 31, 2019. Passengers will board a 777-200 aircraft, outfitted with cushy technological trimmings like strong WiFi and noise-cancelling headphones, and will end up across the pond without having to make a pit stop on the way.

Nonstop service to London also comes with a flurry of economic and commerce possibilities back home in Phoenix. According to Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams the new flight option is a “reflection of the strength of the Phoenix economy,” and a testament to its constantly growing strength as a whole.

Phoenix Sky Harbor has been gaining interest from international cities as a place to land. This past May saw the addition of Condor Airlines’ nonstop flight to Frankfurt, Germany, as well as a Montreal flight.

“The United Kingdom is a key trading partner for Arizona, and the addition of another nonstop route to London-Heathrow Airport is further evidence that this well-established relationship continues to grow,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “In 2017, Arizona companies exported $977 million of goods to the U.K., making it the state’s 4th largest export market. Additionally, there are more than 300 business establishments in Arizona with a U.K. parent company, so the addition of another direct flight benefits these businesses and their employees.”

The United Kingdom and Arizona have a healthy trading relationship. Arizona’s export total reaches higher than $857,000 with the UK, and the import total hits at around $561,000, putting it in the top 10 countries with whom we do business. Transportation equipment like those in the aerospace industry makes up the majority of trade between the two entities. The addition of more accessible travel may provide a boost to other industries, such as tourism.

“Diversifying our connectivity to key international markets is a key cornerstone of our efforts to attract new investment and create jobs in Arizona. We see tourism as another export as visitors bring their Pesos, Euros, Yen, etc. and spend them here,” says Juan Ciscomani, Governor Ducey’s Senior Advisor for Regional and International Affairs. “Once visitors come to Arizona, they return to their countries as ambassadors for our state and everything we have to offer.”

According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, the state welcomed 43.9 million overnight visitors in 2017, and those visitors collectively spent $22.7 billion during their stays. “That works out to $62 million in tourism spending per day. The impact of our visitors on our state cannot be understated!” adds Ciscomani.

With this news in mind, representatives of the tourism industry in the state see a goldmine of opportunity. Tour operations, local commerce associations, and even mom and pop shops all anticipate the effects of more visitors from the UK.

“The best way the hospitality industry and the local community can help us in supporting this development is to take advantage of this service and show the airline that this flight is worth keeping,” Megan Trummel, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications & Community Relations at Visit Phoenix. “Your next flight to London might be more than just a vacation–it could also mean continued support of the economic growth within our local community.”

Nick Esquer

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