British Airways will launch year-round, nonstop service between New Orleans and London next year, officials announced Thursday, marking the Crescent City’s first regular transatlantic service to Europe since 1982.

The new service, which will connect Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) to London Heathrow (LHR), is set to operate four times per week beginning on March 27, 2017. From London Heathrow, passengers will be able to connect to over 130 destinations in Europe and beyond, airline officials said.

“We are delighted to be adding New Orleans to the British Airways global network,” said Simon Brooks, Senior Vice President of British Airways. “It’s such a vibrant city and like London, it boasts an iconic music and arts scene. I’m sure it will be a big hit with British visitors. We are also pleased to be connecting our two cities as developing technology hubs and look forward to increased business opportunities as a result of the new service.”

The flight will be operated with the Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner, the newest aircraft in the British Airways fleet, officials said. Each of the Dreamliner’s 214 seats is equipped with widescreen TVs, an entertainment system capable of connecting with passengers’ devices, and an in-seat chat system for talking to family or friends on the flight.

“For years, we have pursued bringing more direct international flights to Armstrong Airport, and with the addition of British Airways, it’s clear our hard work is paying off,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Now, traveling from London to New Orleans and likewise from New Orleans abroad will be more economical and save time, unleashing new economic ties and cultural exchanges for our region’s businesses. Nonstop flights to London open a gateway to new international markets that will create jobs and new opportunity. In advance of our city’s tricentennial in 2018 and the opening of new North Terminal project, New Orleans is poised for big things as we welcome more travelers from around the world to our world-class city.”

New Orleans-bound flights will depart from London Heathrow at 3:40 p.m., arriving at Louis Armstrong International Airport at 7:40 p.m. Flights will depart from New Orleans at 9:10 p.m., arriving into London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at 12:00 noon the next day.

“Reconnecting New Orleans and London with nonstop flights makes perfect business and tourism sense for our state,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “More travelers come to the U.S. from the U.K. than any other nation outside the Americas, and New Orleans experienced the biggest growth rate in overseas visitors of any U.S. city last year. Our collective efforts to attract British Airways will build the global tourism brand of New Orleans, create new jobs in the region, and generate significant international business development for Louisiana.”


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