TN leaders pitch non-stop Europe and Asia flights to Nashville - WKRN News 2

Top TN leaders pitch non-stop Europe and Asia flights to Nashville

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Ever think of Nashville to London non-stop? Or maybe Nashville to Tokyo as Tennessee trade with Asia seems to grow yearly?

Some of the area's biggest leaders from business to politics are thinking a lot these days about bringing an international non-stop flight from Europe or Asia to Nashville.

First, News 2 has learned that as part of his week long trade mission to Asia last week, Governor Bill Haslam and his Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner Bill Hagerty "called on" Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.

Second, Ryman Hospitality CEO Colin Reed told News 2 he and Hagerty will be meeting in London soon with airlines to make a pitch about a European non-stop to Nashville.

During an interview with News 2, Reed politely declined to name the airlines, but said "there's probably half a dozen of us (going over) to talk about what is going on in Tennessee and what is going on in this great city of Nashville and let these folks, these airlines understand that we are on the early innings of tremendous growth here."

Reed said the world is learning about Nashville in a way like never before because of changing technology such tablets, smartphones, social media and the syndication of ABC’s show “Nashville” in 50-something countries.

He and nearly three dozen other business, government and education leaders from the area are part of group formed in the last year called the Nashville Air Service Coalition.

It's designed to bring more domestic and international flights to Nashville.

Backing up the talk, there are some eyecatching numbers recently released by the Metro Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA)

June 9th was the busiest day in the history of the airport with 20,620 passengers passengers.

The record came one day after the close of Nashville's CMAfest and a few days before the start of the giant Bonnaroo music festival near Manchester.

MNAA officials have also released figures that show the airport on track to break the 2013 record of more than 10-million passengers yearly. 

 In recent years, various airlines serving Nashville have had non-stops to the Caribbean and Canada, but not to Europe or As

American Airlines briefly had a much-celebrated non-stop flight from Nashville to London in the mid-90s, but when the carrier dismantled its major hub here, the London flight was among the cutbacks.

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