MIAMI – Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) Director Emilio T. González and MDAD executives hosted meetings last week with the Consul General of Ireland in Atlanta, Shane Stephens, and the Consul General of the United Kingdom in Florida, Dave Prodger, to strengthen ties with two of Miami International Airport’s top trade partner countries. MDAD officials discussed with the consuls general potential growth opportunities for both passenger and cargo traffic between the two regions.
“We appreciated the opportunity to meet with both consuls general, and we thank them for their support of our business ties with the U.K. and Ireland,” said González. “The United Kingdom continues to be one of MIA’s most valued hub markets internationally, considering its connections to strategic points throughout Europe and beyond, and we look forward to expanding on these air service routes in 2017.”
Ireland has been MIA’s top importer of pharmaceutical products over the last two years, shipping more than $132 million worth of materials in 2015 and more than $515 million in 2014. The U.K. ranks 11th in pharma import value among all MIA trade partners, with more than $4 million in shipments in both 2015 and 2014.
The total value of pharma products transported through MIA has increased by 62 percent since 2010 to nearly $3 billion in 2015. To further capitalize on the growth of pharma trade and logistics worldwide, MIA partnered with Brussels Airport in 2016 to found Pharma.aero, the world’s first international pharma air hub association. The organization aims to build a network of airports dedicated to improving pharma handling and quality throughout the air cargo industry. MIA is also the first airport in the Western Hemisphere to be designated a pharma freight hub by the International Air Transport Association.
MIA will soon begin welcoming passengers directly from Ireland as well, when Aer Lingus, the national airline of Ireland, begins three weekly nonstop flights between Dublin and Miami on September 1, 2017. The new route will be served by A330-200 aircraft that seats 266 passengers. In addition to becoming the 24th European route at MIA, Dublin will be MIA’s first pre-clearance trans-Atlantic destination – allowing passengers to have their passports processed and receive U.S. Customs and Border Protection clearance before they leave Ireland, arriving in Miami as domestic fliers. The U.K. is MIA’s fourth-busiest international market, with more than one million total passengers in 2015.