ORLANDO, FL. – After more than 19 months without passenger service to the United Kingdom, Orlando International Airport (MCO) welcomed back international travelers as Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to resume routine transatlantic operations this afternoon.
The first inbound plane from the United Kingdom landed a little after 2:30 p.m. from Manchester, England.
“We are glad to have the British back,” says Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “We have a lot of people who have been focused on this day and making sure they have, “The Orlando Experience.”
Today’s celebration went beyond simply welcoming back United Kingdom flights. It also marked the first-ever flight from London/Heathrow, a service route long sought after by airport leadership.
This new service route connects Orlando, the most-visited destination in the United States, to the busiest airport in Europe. Central Florida residents will benefit greatly from the new connection with direct nonstop access to London/Heathrow, which provides connecting service to over 190 other markets across the world.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Orlando is positioned to be one of the top five places international guests choose to visit now that travel restrictions have been modified.
Additional U.K. flights resume November 15 when when British Airways begins London/Heathrow service and London/Gatwick connections on the 19th. Aer Lingus will resume Dublin service on November 27h and Manchester service on December 11th.