Further Technology boost for the Northern Powerhouse with Man-Fran connection to the silicon valley

Man-Fran connection helps cements Greater Manchester as the UK’s Silicon Valley

Manchester region is to reap global benefits with direct flights to silicon valley and beyond bringing tech businesses including Google, Apple and Facebook much more closer, further boosting Manchester’s position on a global stage.

Today marks the first of three new Virgin Atlantic routes across the Atlantic direct from Manchester, with flights to San Francisco. Further routes to Boston launch in April and New York JFK in May.

Super commuting

Experts predict that the new flight will lead to a rise in ‘super-commuting’, as entrepreneurs set up shop in both cities. In the same way that more frequent links between New York and London gave rise to the notion of NY-Lon, ‘Man-Fran’ is expected to have a significant impact on the North West region’s economy .

Man-Fran already has lots in common

Manchester also provides comparisons to Silicon Valley, as the second biggest tech hub in the UK by number of jobs, with 52,000 working in a sector that produces £2.2billion in output a year. Manchester also has a thriving TV and Film industry, over 200 businesses are based at MediaCityUK in Salford, including The BBC and  ITV, between them employing over 3,000 staff.

Speaking at Manchester Airport this morning, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer, Shai Weiss, commented:

“We’ve been flying out of Manchester for over 20 years and today marks our biggest ever route expansion from the city.  This summer, we’ll have over 25% more seats out of the city than last year, firmly cementing our commitment to Manchester and the northern powerhouse.”

To mark the occasion, Minister for International Trade Greg Hands and Manchester Airport Group’s CEO Charlie Cornish were joined by Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer, Shai Weiss, to greet guests before departure of the inaugural Man-Fran flight.

On the flight was a number of tech leaders from the North West, who are visiting Silicon Valley on a trade mission, aimed at giving the sector a boost, with the new direct link between the two cities.