How serendipitous could it get? Denver receiving boost in international lift capacity at the same time it’s hosting IPW 2018: A collection of recent announcements is putting Denver, which last hosted IPW in 1991, in an ideal position to promote itself as the USA’s top Mountain West destination for international visitors. Here’s a brief checklist:
—Beginning next month (Sept. 16th), low cost carrier Norwegian Air will offer service from London’s Gatwick Airport to Denver. Initially, the flight will be twice a week (Saturdays and Tuesdays), then expand to three times a week, adding a Thursday flight, on Nov. 2. London is already Denver’s largest long-haul market.
—On Dec. 11th, Copa Airlines, the flag carrier of Panama, will launch service between Panama City and Denver and will operate four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays using a Boeing 737-800 with 154 seats. Officially, Copa (it often appears in all caps, as in COPA) is known as Compañía Panameña de Aviación, and has become an increasingly important carrier in all of the Americas as its hub airport in Panama City connects to nearly every major city in South and Central America.
—At the end of next March (March 24th), the unofficial beginning of the peak summer travel season for the world’s airlines, United Airlines—long a major presence connecting Denver internationally—begins new service between Denver and London’s Heathrow Airport. The daily service will run through Oct.26, 2018, the unofficial end of the peak summer travel season. United’s international network to and from Denver now includes 13 destinations in five countries” Canada, Cost Rica, Japan, Mexico and the UK.
—On April 9 next year—a little more than a month prior to IPW, which takes place May 19-23, 2018—Norwegian will fill a big void in Denver’s international network by launching service to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. The new connection will operate twice a week, using Boeing’s 344-seat 7878-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Denver’s tourism officials say that the demand for travel between Denver and Paris has grown by more than 30 percent over the past year and is currently at an all-time high.
—Finally, Beginning June 2018, Edelweiss — Switzerland ’s leading leisure airline and sister company of Swiss International Air Lines — will offer nonstop flights between Zurich and Denver. More details to come.
In addition to the new service, Denver officials announced last June a massive, four-year project that will renovate its airport, consolidating ticketing operations, re-configuring security facilities and tripling concessions space.