Skip navigation

Mayor Hancock to Lead Economic Development, Trade and Tourism Mission as part of Inaugural Non-Stop Flight from Denver to Paris

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and a delegation of city and state officials today will embark on an economic development, tourism and trade mission to Paris aboard Norwegian Airlines’ inaugural flight to Paris, France’s Charles de Gaulle International Airport.

The mission will provide the Mayor and delegation members a firsthand look at current efforts underway to drive economic development, tourism, small business development and entrepreneurship between the two cities. The delegation will focus on increasing international business with Paris, attracting foreign direct investment into Colorado, improving tourism between Colorado and Paris, and supporting start-up business enterprises and sustainable development policies. The mission will include meetings with Parisian business and cultural leaders.

As a special aspect of the mission, the delegation will be joined by Lt. Colonel (ret.) James Harvey III. Lt. Col. who was a member of the 332nd Fighter group, known as the world-famous Tuskegee Airmen. Harvey gained combat experience in the Korean War and was the military’s first black jet fighter pilot to fly in Korean airspace. Harvey will accompany the group to Normandy on Saturday, April 14. His trip is being sponsored by Jviation and Norwegian Airlines.

The new non-stop international flight between Denver and Paris is expected to create 350 new jobs and $40 million in annual economic impact for Colorado.

Monday, April 9
The delegation, Denver International Airport officials and representatives from Norwegian Airlines will kick-off the inaugural direct international flight between Denver and Paris with a gate ceremony.

Tuesday, April 10
The delegation will arrive in Paris aboard the inaugural non-stop Denver-to-Paris international flight.

Delegation members will receive a walking tour of Paris’ Opera District and Madeleine, receiving an on-the-ground view of the urban renewal program spearheaded by Baron Haussmann that reshaped the central part of the city during the second half of the 19th century.

Delegation members will meet with representatives of the WeWork La Fayette co-working space and tour the facility. WeWork – a global company that provides shared work spaces, technology startup subculture communities, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, small businesses and large enterprises – currently has three co-working space locations in Denver. WeWork La Fayette will afford delegation members a firsthand look at co-working spaces in Paris and the opportunity to share best-practices that can be brought back and implemented in Denver.

Wednesday, April 11
The delegation will receive an economic development briefing from the U.S. Embassy in France.

Delegation members will meet with Techstars representatives. The Techstars Paris Accelerator supports entrepreneurs and start-up businesses focused on AI and machine learning, blockchain and token-based economies, customer experience, customer and asset management, cybersecurity, and intelligent objects.

Delegation members will meet with representatives from Paris-Le Bourget Airport, Paris’ airport exclusively dedicated to business aviation, and tour the facility.

Delegation members will meet with representatives from the Paris&Co startup incubator. Paris&Co is the economic development and innovation agency with the aim of creating jobs and value-add in Paris. They prospect and host foreign startups, promote Parisian business opportunities internationally, and boost the innovation ecosystem of the Paris metropolitan area by incubating new companies, beta-testing innovative solutions, organizing events and helping startups network with larger corporations.

Thursday, April 12
The delegation will meet with representatives from the Mouvement des Entreprises de France International (MEDEF International), the largest employer federation in France. The delegation and MEDEF representatives will discuss sustainable development and environmental protection policies in Denver and France.

The delegation will tour the Clichy-Batignolles eco-district to view sustainable development and building design, particularly around the use of green roofs.

Delegation members will meet with representatives from the Paris office of Starburst, and aerospace and aviation startup accelerator. Starburst supports aerospace and aviation startup companies with access to funding, business-to-business mentorship programs and support for lab-to-industry initiatives, among other programs.

Friday, April 13
The delegation will travel to Brest, France. Formed in 1948, Brest is Denver’s first Sister City relationship and the second oldest Sister City relationship in the United States. The delegation will join with officials from Brest to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Denver-Brest Sister City relationship, as well as be on hand for the announcement of the Breizh Amerika Startup Contest awards in partnership with Denver Startup Week. 

Saturday, April 14
The delegation will meet with Sainte Mère Eglise Mayor Jean Quétier, followed by a tour of the American Cemetery in Normandy and participation in the lowering of the flag ceremony.

Sunday, April 15
The delegation will depart Paris for Denver

The travel and accommodations for city officials will be paid for by Denver International Airport, and in part through the General Fund.