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The City of Houston and Quito, Ecuador Ink Sister Airport Agreement


Senior airport officials from the Houston Airport System (HAS) and the Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on January 7 linking Houston and Quito, Ecuador into a “Sister Airport Agreement.” The MOU establishes a commitment by both cities to jointly promote opportunities for increased air service between George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Quito International Airport (UIO).

“The Houston Airport System has been a long-time partner in the development of the new Quito International Airport, and this agreement opens a new chapter of cooperation centered on enhancing air service and encouraging new trade and tourism opportunities between these great cities,” said Ian Wadsworth, Chief Commercial Officer for the Houston Airport System. “Quito International Airport is the gateway to Ecuador and a major distribution center of the country’s flower business, while Houston’s central geographic location provides a unique advantage over other U.S. airports to move perishables and other time-sensitive cargo, so the pairing makes great business sense. We look forward to partnering with our friends in Quito to further develop this attractive route.”

The MOU aims to increase air passenger and cargo service between the two cities and develop opportunities to share knowledge in airport development and best practices. Quito International Airport is Ecuador’s busiest airport while HAS is one of the largest airport systems in the U.S. with a new international terminal opening in late 2015 at William P. Hobby Airport. 

Officials from the Houston Airport System traveled to Quito to learn more about their airport’s operations and to collaborate on ideas to promote the City of Houston and Houston Airports to the business and tourism markets in Ecuador. Representatives from Quito will also travel to Houston to learn more about the Houston Airport System and the city’s ever-expanding oil & gas industries.

“The agreement with the City of Houston is the natural result of the close relationship between the two airports,” said Quito International Airport President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew O’Brian. “Quito Airport and Bush Airport have excellent operating conditions that will make this this route successful for passenger and cargo service.”

Trade between Houston and Ecuador is steadily increasing, and Houston currently ranks as Ecuador’s 4th largest U.S. gateway for international air cargo trade by air value. Top shipments include: mineral fuel, industrial machinery, plastics and perishables.  

With over one million square feet of warehouse space for airlines and cargo-related companies, Bush Intercontinental Airport offers improved supply chain options. IAH has a state-of-the-art cargo center that can safely accommodate any type of cargo efficiently, including oversized oil field equipment, computers, auto parts, perishables and more.

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