NORTH WEST business leaders have welcomed today’s first direct flight from Manchester to San Francisco saying the service will make the North West a “significant” business hub.
The service is the first of three new Virgin flights from Manchester to America that the company says will improve business links between the UK and America’s leading digital region.
Ashley Rogers, chairman of the North Wales Business Council, said the new flights would be an “invaluable” asset for businesses across North West England and North Wales. Direct access to Silicon Valley and its investor base is “hugely important” for further growth, he said.
San Francisco’s Silicon Valley has long been home to some of the tech world’s biggest, brightest – and weirdest in technology – from massive companies like Apple to up and comers such Slack – a new workplace communication app designed to replace long-form emails with simpler, instant-message inspired communication.
Quicker, more efficient communication between the two cities makes it easier for companies like San Francisco’s Anaplan – a cloud-based enterprise management platform – to function internationally, meaning increased business for the North.
Michael Gould, CTO and founder of Anaplan, said: “An improved link between the North of England and San Francisco is great news for technology companies in the North of England. Showing progress toward making the region a significant business hub.”
The flight will take just over 11 hours and tickets cost from £589. Virgin says 100,000 passengers in the Manchester catchment area could save hours in journey times.
The flight to San Francisco will be joined by direct flights to Boston, starting tomorrow, March 29th and New York City, beginning in May.