From the towering skyscrapers of the Loop, to the immense stone ruins of the Mayans, “Chicagoans” are now even closer to our beautiful jewel thanks to United Airlines.
Saturday, December 20th, 2014 marked the inauguration of United’s direct flight from the Chicago O’ Hare International Airport to Belize’s Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport. The event which was held in the VIP Lounge of the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport saw diplomats, politicians, representatives of the department of civil aviation, industry partners, the media and invited guests, all who sat eagerly to hear the details of this new flight and for the arrival of the direct Chicago flight to Belize.
In an address by the CEO of the Ministry of Tourism – Ms. Tracey Taegar-Panton, she stated:
“We are proud of the partnership we shared with United Airlines since its inaugural service to Belize in 1988. What a long way we have come. From a single flight out of its Houston hub to 2 and sometimes 4 daily flights from Houston, weekly service from Newark and now a weekly service from Chicago. This partnership has insured that the North American market continues to be the primary source market for the tourism sector with Houston being our busiest hub. The connection opens the entire Midwestern United States as a market to make travel more convenient, with service from New York City, Miami, Houston and Los Angeles already covered by various airlines.”
Also, according to United Country Manager – Ms. Indira Craig, the company is headquartered in Chicago and they intend to take advantage of that market.
The following is the speech given by United Country Manager – Ms. Indira Craig at the event:
“United Airlines is the among the world’s largest and finest airlines. We boast of our 9 most strategically important hubs that serve three hundred seventy‐four destinations around the globe. Today, we are beyond excited to make that number three hundred and seventy‐five, as we initiate our direct flights today between Belize’s Philip SW Goldson International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the world’s busiest for Aircrafts.
On behalf of our family here at United Airlines and at our headquarters in Chicago we would like to extend a warm thank you for being here today especially our Guest Speaker and CEO in the ministries of Civil Aviation, Culture and Tourism Mrs. Tracey Taegar Panton, The Department of Civil Aviation, our industry partners, Travel Agents, Government officials, distinguished guests, the media and our friends, for celebrating with us the pairing of two great cities.
Chicago, Illinois is the corporate home of our very own United Airlines and has been the birthplace of many Academics, Scientists, Engineers, Nobel Laureates, Authors, Entrepreneurs, and Civil Rights Leaders. Chicago was the first experience that Belizeans enjoyed through the introduction of television here, with WGN, The ole Harry Carey, Wrigley Field and the Chicago cubs.
This bridged the reality of a modern world to the reality of a newly developing and ambitious country. Eyes stayed fixed on all of the lights, the sprawling sky scrapers and really - the concept of development.
You may know the names Ernest Hemingway, Walt Disney, Hillary Clinton, Red Foxx and Al Capone, all famous Chicagoans. But America’s third largest city is also known for its richness in architecture, art, culture, commerce, transportation, and industry. Chicago’s O’Hare International, with its eight runways, serves some 67 million passengers, 885,000 aircrafts, and moves some 1.4 million metric tons of cargo annually and is one of the world greatest ports of call , recognized as North America’s best airport on no less than 10 occasions. It is our hope that with this flight United Airlines will not just open the friendly skies for Chicago’s nearly 2.7 million residents, but connect seamlessly our very own diaspora of Belizean heritage and ancestry, and create a new network option that will not just offer more to Americas nearly 47 million tourists but the world as a global carrier, making it yet another route to access and to see the splendor of our beautiful jewel- Belize.
Today’s inauguration highlights not just the work of United but the joined efforts of our local tourism team who has pushed for this to become a reality .Today's flight is a big endorsement to the work and continued investment that the people of Belize have made, and we look forward to how this new gateway can serve to fit her development in areas of tourism, commerce, banking, agriculture and industry. This bridge in the sky does not just connect two cities, it connects the high pace culture of an ultra-developed urban metropolis, to a nation of laid back - warm tropical oasis and spectacular natural beauty. This bridges cultures, it connects family and friends, and it connects collective aspirations.
Today, United is doing her part in transforming that once visual bridge to now a comfortable, spacious, and reliable direct Flight. Through this bridge the world becomes just a little bit smaller and closer.
On behalf of myself, those at headquarters, The region and our local team I’d like to thank you all for all your support over the years and also for being here today.
Chicago, Belize. We are now UNITED!”
Maya Island Air takes this time to congratulate United on embarking in this new endeavour and for hosting a successful inaugural event; we look forward to our continued partnership in 2015 and another fruitful travel year.