American Airlines successfully landed its first nonstop flight between Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and London Heathrow Airport Monday morning.
To celebrate American Airlines’ first trans-Atlantic trip from Phoenix, the airline welcomed Arizona business leaders, representatives from Sky Harbor, Visit Phoenix and the city of Phoenix, including Mayor Kate Gallego and councilmembers Thelda Williams and Felicita Mendoza.
Local bakery Tammie Coe provided a cake resembling Westminister Abbey with an American Airlines plane flying over the historic landmark.
“It’s a great opportunity to connect with our British friends across the pond and to all of Europe,” Gallego said. “We think this will be incredibly important for our travelers and business community, having a more convenient service to London, to really all of Europe and beyond.”
According to American Airlines, the service provides travelers with a convenient way to travel to London and beyond with daily flights year-round that offer more than 120 connections in London.
“We are excited to offer this year-round service between Phoenix and London Heathrow,” said John Daley, Managing Director for American Airlines in Phoenix. “The Phoenix hub is a very important part of the American Airlines network. We have 265 daily departures serving 86 destinations and 4 countries and an employee base here of nearly 10,000 throughout Arizona. The new service marks another step towards our continued growth and strengthening our presence here in the valley of the sun and to offer business travel to London and beyond.”
The new flight has plenty of amenities that ensure travelers’ comfort.
In Flagship Business, flyers will have access to Bose noise-canceling headphones, celebrity chef-inspired menus and bedding designed by Casper. In Premium Economy there are leather seats with 38 inches of pitch, noise-reducing headphones, an enhanced food and beverage selection and personal amenity kits. All passengers have access to high-speed international Wi-Fi and personal inflight entertainment screens.
As passengers exited the non-stop flight arriving in Phoenix from London, they were given Arizona-themed welcome bags courtesy of Visit Phoenix.
Phoenix resident Ron Karp said the flight to Phoenix from London was really exciting.
“I am native, I live here, so having a direct flight to me is amazing,” he said. “I’ll do this again. I loved it.”
The nonstop service was originally a seasonal flight expected to run between March 31 and October 26. However, after receiving positive feedback, American decided to run the flight year-round.
In recent years, Sky Harbor has focused on increasing its number of international services, adding both a Condor Airlines nonstop flight to Frankfurt, Germany and a new Montreal, Canada, service last year.
“International flights to and from Phoenix bring in approximately $3 billion each year. This flight will provide a boost by bringing in additional tourists to the Phoenix area,” said Heather Lissner, Sky Harbor public information manager.
The Boeing 777-200 aircraft is also known as Shepherd One, because the plane was dedicated to transporting Pope Francis during a visit to the United States in 2015. The plane has a commemorative plaque highlighting the historical event.
Sky Harbor currently offers nonstop services to 22 international destinations. To look for flights to London, click here.