ORLANDO, FL. – Norwegian Airlines is expanding its services at Orlando International Airport (MCO). Starting now Norwegian is offering once-a-week non-stop service to Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhagen is the capital and most populated city in Denmark, with a metropolitan population of nearly 2 million. This new service will also become MCO’s longest international route, at 4,776 miles.
“Norwegian’s decision to serve Copenhagen connects two world-class cities with global reputations for superior amusement and leisure travel,” says Frank Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “This new service also opens the door for local business access to one of the largest financial centers in Northern Europe and Scandinavia.”
“Norwegian already flies between Orlando and Oslo, Norway and this is a very popular route both for Americans and Europeans. We´re therefore very happy to celebrate the new routes from Orlando to Copenhagen and London. The travelling public deserves affordable fares and flexible tickets across the Atlantic,” said Chief Commercial Officer Thomas Ramdahl of Norwegian.
This latest Norwegian flight is just one of many new exciting international routes at Orlando International Airport this year. Under the umbrella of the international Open Skies agreements, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority in conjunction with efforts by its community partners, has engaged in numerous successful long-term talks with airlines from around the world to bring new international air service to Central Florida.
Community partnerships, collaborations, new service and economic impact are the intended by-products of the Open Skies agreements. Open Skies agreements have vastly expanded international passenger and cargo flights to and from the United States, promoting increased travel and trade, enhancing productivity, and spurring high-quality local job opportunities and economic growth. Open Skies agreements do this by eliminating government interference in the commercial decisions of air carriers about routes, capacity, and pricing, freeing carriers to provide more affordable, convenient, and efficient air service for consumers.
“International air service is a key focus for us because it makes a great impact on our local economic vitality,” says Phil Brown, Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “More international visitors means more jobs and more global opportunities for Central Florida businesses.”
“Travel and tourism is at the core of our Central Florida economy,” said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. “International air service is the critical link between our community and overseas visitors who stay longer and spend more than other travelers. New service further reinforces Orlando’s place as the most visited destination in the U.S.”
Recently Orlando International has secured new international service to Dubai via Emirates Airlines; Copenhagen via Norwegian Air; Sao Paulo via Azul Airlines; London via Norwegian; Belfast via Virgin Atlantic; Reykjavik via Iceland Air; Brasilia via TAM; Lima via LanPeru; and Guadalajara via Volaris. Combined these additions alone will stimulate over $710 million in local investment and economic activity in Central Florida.
“Orlando is one of only 10 cities in the nation to offer this non-stop service to Dubai, opening the entire Middle East and Far East for business opportunities for the Orlando region,” said Rick Weddle, president and CEO of Orlando Economic Development Commission.
“International travel is a vital part of what makes Central Florida’s economy so successful and our community so vibrant,” says Bill Davis, President, Universal Orlando. “Anything that advances international travel and tourism is an important step forward for our community.”
“I think it is vitally important that leaders at all levels support current and future measures that stimulate increased international travel to Central Florida and Orlando International Airport. Not only do international visitors account for nearly 20 percent of the tourism business in Kissimmee, many of these guests look at our community for business development purposes. As such, we think it is a tourism imperative for today and tomorrow to cultivate relationships and inspire more international visitors,” says DT Minich, Experience Kissimmee President & CEO.
International traffic at Orlando International broke a record in 2014 with more than 4.3 million arrivals and departures. That was a 9.6 percent increase over the previous record set in 2013. International traffic now accounts for more than 12.3 percent of the overall total traffic volume at MCO.