Not heard of Man-Fran? You soon will

By: Steve Clarke

February 28, 2017


As we all know by now, 2017 marks our biggest ever expansion out of Manchester as we launch three new routes from the city.  The new routes will see Mancunians able to enjoy our world-renowned service to Boston and New York, and in a first for any airline, a direct link between San Francisco and Manchester – and it’s this ‘Man-Fran’ route that’s got us especially excited.

Experts are predicting that closer links between the great northern powerhouse and the city on the bay will have a major and lasting effect on culture and business, as ‘super commuting’ rises between the two cities.

Man-Fran the new NY-Lon?

In the same way that more frequent links between New York and London gave rise to the notion of ‘NY-Lon’ – which spawned a TV series and sees thousands of workers regularly commuting between them – we’re expecting Man-Fran to have a significant impact on the North West.

According to our research, Man-Fran will build on a shared psyche between these two northern cities. The similarities are obvious, with one city built on a heritage of silicon and the other rebuilding itself as a British tech hub, and both are famous for their wet weather, trams, music, LBGT and street art scenes.

The residents seem to agree with us, with three in five of Mancunians feeling that their city has more in common with San Francisco than London.

What do the experts say?

Even before our flights launch, experts are raving about the cities’ new direct links and how it will help business in the region.

Professor Sir Cary L Cooper of Alliance Manchester Business School says: “The idea of Ny-Lon, or a ‘single city separated by an ocean’, has been around for a while. There are more direct flights daily between London and New York than trains from Kings Cross to Edinburgh. With Manchester’s tech and creative industries booming, I fully expect direct flights between the city and San Francisco to catalyse something similar: a shared business outlook, a common personality and ever closer connections. Man-Fran will become a real trend over the next few years.”

And Chris Baker, MD of UK Enterprise at Concur, says: “A lot has been made about the love affair between London and San Francisco – after all, Silicon Roundabout in London’s tech hub takes its name from San Fran’s Silicon Valley. But maybe London has become too comfortable with the relationship; maybe it isn’t exclusive anymore. Could Manchester become the next apple of the US tech sector’s eye? 

This flight between San Francisco and Manchester is another vital connection between the two cities and their tech and creative expertise. Both cities bring an engaging culture of innovation to the table and are sure to grow closer as the links between them strengthen. London may need to keep an eye on Manchester as the city’s relationship with the epicentre of US technology continues to grow.”

We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely more excited than ever to see what benefits our new routes bring both cities.


* Research conducted by Censuswide with a total sample size of 1000+ adults in Manchester in June 2016. 

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