Nashville airport to offer direct flights to London in May 2018 - WSMV News 4

Nashville airport to offer direct flights to London in May 2018

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Gov. Bill Haslam and Mayor Megan Barry made the announcement Tuesday morning. (WSMV) Gov. Bill Haslam and Mayor Megan Barry made the announcement Tuesday morning. (WSMV)

British Airways will launch direct flights five days a week between London and Nashville starting in May 2018.

Flights between Nashville International Airport and London's Heathrow Airport are already on sale. The flights will run every day except Saturdays and Thursdays.

A representative for British Airways said he anticipates flights will cost less than $1,000.

The flight will leave London at 3:45 p.m. local time and will arrive in Nashville at 6:50 p.m. CT. The flight from Nashville to London will leave at 8:20 p.m. CT and will arrive in London the next day at 10:30 a.m. local time.

The flights will be able to accommodate up to 1,070 passengers each way on a weekly basis. The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft holds 214 people across three cabins and will have individual widescreen TVs on every seat.

British Airways says the aircraft has a lower pressurization, which is supposed to reduce the effects of jet lag.

Customers on the direct flight will be able to bring one free checked bag and will be provided free meals and drinks.

Gov. Bill Haslam and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry were on hand for the announcement at the State Capitol on Tuesday morning. 

Haslam called the announcement "a game-changer" and said he believes many companies will use this flight to connect not just to Nashville, but the entire state of Tennessee.

"This is a big day, not just for Nashville, but for all of Tennessee because London is a gateway to and from all of Europe," said Haslam in a news release. “Having a direct connection to London and Europe opens up Tennessee to even more investment and economic opportunities. As a state, we’ve led the nation in job creation from foreign direct investment in 2013 and 2015, and we want to thank British Airways for today’s announcement that will undoubtedly help us strengthen current and build new relationships in Europe, bringing more high quality jobs to Tennessee."

Over 50 city, state, business and community leaders helped to make the direct flight a reality.

Barry said the band Kings of Leon was one of the advocates for Nashville earning this transatlantic flight.

"Over the last two years, I have worked closely with Governor Haslam and more than 50 city, state, business, and community leaders to make Nashville International Airport truly live up to its name by bringing a nonstop transatlantic flight between London and Music City," said Barry in a news release. "With Nashville as the leading economic engine in the state, this new service will be a difference maker as the city’s momentum continues on all fronts - business development and tourism."

Nashville is the 22nd U.S. city to be able to offer British Airways flights to the Heathrow Airport.

A transatlantic fight typically creates $103 million in economic impact for a community, according to Haslam's office.

"Nashville has all the qualities that we look for in a new destination, a fast growing economy, thriving cultural scene and strong connections to Europe. We know British tourists will be excited to discover Music City and are looking forward to welcoming new customers from Tennessee on board very soon," said Simon Brooks, British Airways’ senior VP for North America, in a news release.

Stay with News 4 for updates on this developing story.

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