With its joint venture partner All Nippon Airways, United’s passengers will benefit from connecting service in Narita to 20 other destinations in Asia. DEN already has nonstop flights to London on British Airways and to Frankfurt on Lufthansa, as well as many nonstop flights to cities in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic (beginning in June).
“This is a major step forward in positioning Denver as an international tourism destination and gateway to Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. Scharf said that as the largest city in a 1,000-km radius, Denver is a logical place to begin a vacation in the West.
“Denver is an exciting, cultural and hip young city filled with museums, cultural attractions, shopping and a wide array of chef-owned restaurants, all in an area of spectacular natural beauty,” Scharf said. He noted that Denver has the nation’s largest city park system, a massive bike sharing program with bikes available at 52 stations, and the spectacular Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. Denver is also the natural gateway to famed western attractions such as Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, as well as to a dozen national forests. Half of Colorado is public land open to all forms of recreation including hiking, camping, fishing, river rafting, and horseback riding. And of course, Scharf noted, Denver is just a short drive from world famous, luxurious ski and summer resorts such as Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge and Winter Park.
DEN is currently the fifth busiest airport in the U.S., 11th-busiest in the world with nearly 1,600 daily flights, including nonstops to 175 worldwide destinations.
The new, daily nonstop flight is scheduled to depart Denver at 11:55 a.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 3 p.m. the next day, with the return trip departing Tokyo at 4:40 p.m., arriving in Denver at 12:30 p.m. the same day.
Jeff Smisek, president and CEO of United Airlines was in the Mile High City, both to make the announcement and to celebrate United’s 75-year history of serving Denver. The announcement of the Tokyo flight came on the exact 75th anniversary of United’s first flight from Denver. Smisek said: “I want to recognize the efforts of Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Kim Day, Manager of Aviation, and her team at Denver International Airport, and the business and civic leaders in Denver who have worked together to bring this great new international destination to our customers in Denver. Our customers will enjoy the nonstop service on our new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft, which will provide a spectacular flying experience.”
The nonstop flight is expected to add $130 million annually to Colorado’s economy and bring 30,000 new visitors every year.