The doors to the West—and East—just opened wider for North Carolina with Gov. Bev Perdue’s announcement today that United Airlines will begin nonstop service from Raleigh to San Francisco this year. The new flight is scheduled to begin service on August 15.
Photo by Alain McLaughlin
“By strengthening the air service connection between the two coasts and Asia, we are creating more opportunities for N.C. businesses to be more competitive and to create more jobs for North Carolinians,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. The announcement came after growing demand for nonstop service between RDU and San Francisco, a major metropolitan area and home to various industry sectors that are complimentary to the Research Triangle Region. It is also a popular leisure destination and gateway to locations in the Pacific Rim.
In her prepared remarks, Gov. Perdue noted, “Folks in North Carolina are now only one stop away from Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Shanghai—all the Asian markets that are huge opportunities for us in North Carolina.”
Providing for nonstop service to the West Coast took years of planning, but with the continued economic growth in areas like technology and biosciences, the service was becoming more and more essential. Mike Landguth, RDU’s new director, came to the post committed to securing the nonstop service.
Photo courtesy United Airlines
With global companies such as Red Hat and Cisco running major facilities in both the Triangle and Bay Areas, and major venture capital firms also located in Northern California, nonstop access between the two makes good business sense. The service also opens up the potential to attract more companies with ties to both the East and West Coasts. “New markets mean new jobs for our state and our citizens,” said Gov. Perdue. “This flight has tremendous potential to attract more companies to the Research Triangle and North Carolina.”
United Airlines will provide a morning flight to San Francisco, as well as an evening return flight. RDU sees more than 25,000 passengers here on a daily basis, which translates to more than nine million people a year.
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