PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As the COVID-19 pandemic eases, people are eager to travel again. In Portland, it just became easier to take a trip “across the pond.” 

On Friday, British Airways began its direct flights between Portland and London. The inaugural flight received a warm local welcome as it taxied to the gate. 

This is the only non-stop flight between Oregon and the United Kingdom.

The new route will operate five times a week. It will run from Portland to London Heathrow on Friday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 

After arriving in Portland Friday, the flight returned to London Heathrow in the evening. It arrived in England in time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

“As this exciting new route coincides with Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, it is a unique and timely moment to connect Portland with Britain. Launching direct flights from Oregon to the UK for the first time is such a privilege and we are delighted that Portland is joining our extensive North America route network,” Marie Hilditch, British Airways’ head of North America sales, said at the event at Portland International Airport. 

Captain Meredith Bell, a 30-year veteran pilot for British Airways headed the inaugural flight. Her daughter attends Reed College in Portland. 

Port of Portland Executive Director Curtis Robinhold said the airport deeply appreciates the commitment British Airways has shown to Portland. 

“This flight is great news for the residents and businesses of Oregon and SW Washington – London is our largest transatlantic market and is an amazing gateway to many other parts of the world,” he said. 

Portland joins 25 other U.S. cities offering direct flights to London. British Airways says adding Portland to its network opens a wide variety of connections for its customers. 

Passengers will fly on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The flight time from London to Portland is approximately 9 hours and 50 minutes. All long-haul British Airways flights include food and beverage service.