Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Houston #1 in international flight growth

A USA Today article on the growth in international nonstop flights has a chart that ranks Houston Intercontinental #1 in international flight gains since 2000, with 38 new daily international departures taking us from 73 then to 111 now. Very cool. When it comes to global connectivity, we are one of a small handful of top-tier US cities, thanks mainly to our proximity to Mexico and Latin America, large population, international diversity, the global nature of the energy industry, and, of course, wonderful hometown hub airline Continental. We also just opened the largest international customs and immigration arrivals facility in the country. An excerpt on Houston from the USA Today article:

Bush Intercontinental has boosted its nonstop international flights to 111 a day on average, up by about 50% since 2000.

The biggest driver: Continental's push into Mexico with 50-seat jets, which lets passengers avoid connections in congested Mexico City. Continental launched new service to several cities in Mexico, including the business destinations of Toluca and Monclova.

The airport last year also landed its first Asian carrier — China Airlines —for service to Taipei. The route is popular with Houston's Southeast Asian community, many of whom then connect to airports in Vietnam. The carrier started with three flights a week, and daily service is possible by year's end, Peña says. Houston is lobbying Air India to become its Texas gateway.

As a sidebar, does anybody else think it would be cool to riff off the NASA and "Space City" themes to officially rename the airport "Bush Intergalactic"? I've heard it referred to that way informally for years, but why not go all the way and make it official? It could be a great image builder every time someone books a flight. And don't bother me with niggling details about not actually having intergalactic flights. There are a laughable number of airports in this country named "[insert tiny town name here] International Airport", yet have absolutely no international service.

1 Comments:

At 9:57 AM, March 17, 2005, Anonymous Richard R. Johnson said...

Regarding the airport name, I do like the fact that if you google "Intercontinental Airport" you have to dig pretty far before you find any other airports with that name beyond Houston (Milan is an example).

 

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