Transatlantic Greater Birmingham

Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce

Contact: Mandy Haque T: 0121 725 8994

Transatlantic Chamber Patrons

Call for travel corridor to reopen

Business leaders have called for the Transatlantic travel corridor to be reopened in a bid to kickstart trade between the UK and the US.

BritishAmerican Business, of which the

Greater Birmingham Transatlantic Chamber is part, are urging both the UK and United States Governments to work with the aviation industry to establish a timeline for resuming travel between the two countries. Duncan Edwards, chief executive of BritishAmerican Business, believes face-to-face interaction underpins the strength of the UK-US trading relationship. He said: “The value of in-person interaction in

business – as in life – is enormous and is a crucial factor underpinning the status of the UK- US trade and investment corridor as the most valuable in the world. “Meeting new and existing customers,

interviewing and reviewing suppliers, really getting to know your people, prospecting for deals, the serendipitous encounter which turns into a fantastic lead, properly understanding cultural nuances… these are all things which can only happen if you are physically there. “Which is why it is so important that national

and local government on both sides of the Atlantic, working with the airlines, airports and other stakeholders, find a way to re-open the air routes for business and leisure customers, without a quarantine requirement, as soon as possible. Let’s start with New York to London. “Logic suggests that the increased risk from

Senior appointment to boost airport operations

United Airlines has appointed Mike Hanna as its new senior vice president of Airport Operations. Hanna previously served as vice president of

United’s Chicago O'Hare hub and has more than 25 years of aviation experience. He has held roles in all areas of airport

operations, including cabin cleaning, lavatory servicing, fuelling, ramp and customer service. In his new role, he will oversee the carrier's

worldwide airport operations, including United Ground Express, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United. “I look forward to continuing to work alongside the United team to move us forward during this unprecedented time and provide a great experience for our customers whenever and wherever they fly United,” Hanna said. Hanna holds a dual degree in marketing and management from Humboldt State University and a certification in human resources from Loyola Marymount University. He is married and has three children. He will continue to lead operations at O’Hare until the airline names his successor.

34 CHAMBERLINK October 2020

‘The value of in-person interaction in business – as in life – is enormous and is a crucial factor underpinning the status of the UK- US trade and investment corridor’

travel between places with similar rates of infection is low and if this is coupled with the kind of measures that the industry is suggesting, pre-flight tests, post-flight tests, mandatory face coverings, temperature checks, aircraft and airport cleansing and all the rest, surely the increased risk to either country is minimal. And, if not now, then when? “What are the measurable criteria that need to be hit for the UK and US quarantine requirement

and the US travel ban to be lifted in the future? “Clearly there are businesses and industries

for whom this is an existential crisis, the airlines, the airports and the businesses built around the ecosystem, and for these businesses action is desperately needed to save as many jobs as possible, but there is a wider need to get the corridors open again for the benefit of all before trade and investment inevitably starts to decline.”

Virtual networking a success

Stefanie Bowes: Global engagement

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s first online international speed networking event attracted participants from across the US and Canada. The virtual speed networking session was led

by the Chamber’s International department and supported the Transatlantic and Commonwealth Chamber divisions. The event was successful in attracting

connections from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Canada. International business manager Stefanie

Bowes, who led the session, said: “Although virtual speed networking is a new way of connecting right now, international speed networking can continue through this format to allow us to engage more frequently with partners around the world. “This is key to us promoting international

messages and to keep the international arm of our organisation in the forefront of our partners’ minds.” The International Business Hub plans to create

a series of events over the next six months to showcase international trading opportunities and expand its reach in different states.

Grounded: Flights between the UK and US are yet to resume

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