Governor Baker, Massport celebrate improvements to Logan’s International Terminal and launch of 1st nonstop South American service

Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker. (Image courtesy of the Governor’s Office.)

Today, Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced renovations and enhancements at Boston Logan International Airport’s Terminal E while celebrating Avianca airlines’ first nonstop flights between Boston and South America through Colombia’s capital of Bogotá in June. Logan will now offer 53 international destinations, including nonstop service to South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

“Better connecting all Massachusetts has to offer to the global economy allows the Commonwealth to maintain its competitive edge and continue to reap the benefits of a culturally and professionally diverse population,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “New international routes are estimated to bring an economic benefit of over $1 billion annually and I’m proud our administration and Massport continue to make strategic investments, like the Terminal E improvements, to attract new services to the Commonwealth.”

The Terminal E Renovation and Enhancements project focused on improving the passenger experience throughout the terminal, expanding terminal space by an additional 95,000 square feet and renovating three existing gates and adding the required services to accommodate larger aircrafts. The project incorporates sustainable and resilient design elements and has submitted documentation for LEED Gold certification. Boston Logan International Airport offers nonstop service to 75 domestic and 53 international destinations and served more than 36 million passengers last year.

“The addition of nonstop service to Bogotá is another example of Massport’s focus on connecting New England with the global economy,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “Our strategic investment in upgrading and improving Terminal E will better accommodate and serve our growing international customer base.”

Beginning on June 2nd, Avianca will operate year-round service from Boston to Bogotá four times per week on an A319 aircraft. In Bogotá, passengers can conveniently connect to 36 destinations throughout South and Central America through Avianca’s hub. A city of almost seven million people with a growing economy and booming tourism market, Bogotá is quickly becoming a “must-see” destination in South America; with both Forbes and Vogue naming it a top travel destination for 2017.

“With this with new addition to our route network, Avianca becomes the first and only airline to directly join Boston with Bogotá and vice versa, connecting travelers coming from the State of Massachusetts more efficiently to the main capitals in Latin America. On their part, travelers from South America will be able to fly more easily to key destinations in New England,” added Hernan Rincon, President of Avianca.

Avianca is the flag carrier of Colombia and the country’s largest air carrier. The second largest air carrier in Latin America, it has been in operations since 1919, making it the oldest airline in the Western Hemisphere. A member of the Star Alliance, Avianca serves over 100 destinations in almost 30 countries with a modern fleet of over 180 aircraft.

“Bostonians and residents of New England will be able to get to know our beautiful country where people are happy and always have a smile for visitors, discover beautiful landscapes, see the Sea of 7 colors, and taste the best coffee in the world,” said Consul of the Consulate General of Colombia in Boston, Yida Ximena Mora Silva. “This flight is an example of how the United States and Colombia continue to develop strong ties that benefit both countries.”

The Colombian community in Massachusetts has had significant growth since the 1960s, with over 20,000 Colombians now residing in the Commonwealth. Colombians also make up the 8th largest foreign-born population in Boston, with the majority (75%) residing in East Boston.

“The ties between Massachusetts and Latin America are strong and deep; Latino-Americans make up almost 10% of the Commonwealth’s population and are an integral part of the vibrancy and diversity of all Massachusetts has to offer,” said Nader Acevedo, Executive Vice President, Hispanic-American Institute.“ The opportunities for loved ones to reconnect, investments to be made and adventures to be had on both continents are now closer than ever through nonstop air service to Colombia on Avianca.”

Sustaining Boston’s competitive edge in international travel is critical to the state’s highly travel-dependent and diversified economic base which is spread across sectors such as information technology, biotechnology, healthcare, education, and medical scientific research and products. International non-stop flights make Boston more attractive to foreign companies to locate U.S. facilities in the Commonwealth.

“This service now means a major South American gateway city is now connected directly to Boston and New England’s visitor industry; bringing with it new visitors, new visitor spending and new jobs for our visitor economy,” Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO, Patrick Moscaritolo said.

“With more international direct air service than ever from Boston’s Logan International Airport, Massachusetts continues to attract record numbers of overseas visitors,” said Francois-Laurent Nivaud, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. “In 2015, Massachusetts’ overseas visitor market increased by 13% to 1.7 million visitors, bolstering our state economy through direct spending, taxes and jobs.”

In total, Logan Airport generates $13 billion in economic activity each year and last year more than 36 million passengers flew through Logan, which accounts for over 17,000 local jobs. During the past decade, the number of international non-stop destinations from Logan Airport has nearly doubled from 27 to 53 and international passengers now account for 16% of travelers at Logan Airport. International passengers are predicted to be the fastest growing component of airport business. In 2016, 6.5 million international passengers traveled through Terminal E.

Other renovations to Logan’s international Terminal E include:

  • Displays throughout the terminal to showcase innovations and innovators with strong ties to Massachusetts;
  • Art installations that represent current Massachusetts Innovations, current Massachusetts innovators, a Wall of Fame featuring Nobel Prize winners that have roots in Massachusetts, News Desks with local headlines and the interactive Boston “T” Party selfie moment;
  • Newly designed seating arrangement in the terminal and all seats include power and USB charging capabilities;
  • New arrivals level de-boarding areas that connect to the Customs Primary Inspection hall;
  • A new fourth level that hold brand new Airline Clubs, which allow for their passengers to directly board from the lounge to either level of an Airbus A380;
  • And new two-level aircraft boarding jet bridges on the three renovated gates.
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