January 20, 2023 11:00am

Most-wanted destinations at BHM airport

Magic City leaders sound off on the routes they'd like to see at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

Photo of Ty West
Birmingham, AL Correspondent

From the Bay Area and back down to Los Angeles, it’s clear Magic City leaders have a clear case of California love — at least when it comes to their most-wanted destinations from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

That was one of the big takeaways from the latest Birmingham Power Poll, which asked local leaders about the nonstop service they’d most like to see at BHM.

Los Angeles (30%) and San Francisco (18%) each ranked near the top when respondents were asked about their most-coveted destinations, with Boston (18%) also in the top three.

Las Vegas, served by Southwest Airlines, is currently the westernmost airport with a nonstop flight from BHM, so adding either of the two California options would give Birmingham a true option on the West Coast — and more connections to Asia.

Birmingham startup leaders have long coveted more options to the Bay Area and to Boston, which they’ve said would provide better access to venture capital firms.

On the international side, Europe (48%) was the most popular choice when respondents were asked about their preferred global destinations.

Birmingham has previously had seasonal nonstop international service to tourist destinations in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico — but not since the pandemic.

Landing more nonstop service at BHM is a priority for business leaders, with 52% of respondents saying the number and frequency of nonstop flights is very important for their business.

The survey also found respondents are planning heavy use of BHM in 2023, with 37% of respondents planning to travel through BHM at least 10 times this year.

Power Poll Members: Do you have a friend or colleague who should be on Power Poll? Please invite them to join!

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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