Lehigh Valley Feature in American Airlines In-Flight Magazine Unveiled at Launch Party

By Colin McEvoy on June 30, 2017

The sky’s the limit for the Lehigh Valley, which is about to be featured in a platform unlike any it has ever seen before.

The region is the focus of a 24-page dedicated supplement in American Way, the in-flight magazine for American Airlines, which will be in the seats of every single flight of the largest airline in the world.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Lehigh Valley is finally being recognized for the category that we ought to be in, and that we are in: as a leading revitalizing area to raise a family, locate a business, and come to visit,” said Don Cunningham, President and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).

Copies of the supplement, called Spotlight Lehigh Valley, were distributed for the first time during a June 28 launch party at the Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA), which was attended by about 200 people.

Carsten Morgan, Vice President of Special Projects for the London-based Ink Global, which publishes the magazine, said it will reach about 5.4 million unique monthly readers and at least 16 million passengers in all.

More importantly, Morgan said Spotlight Lehigh Valley will be read by the right people for attracting economic development to the region. American Way’s readership is the third-highest measured in the nation for household income, Morgan said, and ranks in the Top 10 for professional managerial, top-nine job titles, and C-suite executives.

“These are the people who make the decisions to move, invest, and relocate here in the Lehigh Valley,” Morgan said. “That goes to the core of what Spotlight Lehigh Valley is all about.”

An eight-foot version of the cover was unveiled at the launch party, lifted into the air by a series of red, white, and blue balloons in the LVIA upstairs terminal. Roughly 25 percent of the flights coming in and out of the airport are from American Airlines.

“We feel that the Lehigh Valley is a place that people want to live, work, and visit, and we hope that this Spotlight edition inspires people to want to discover all this region has to offer and lifts their spirits by doing so,” said Kim Lilly, Executive Vice President of Discover Lehigh Valley.

Spotlight is an economic development series that takes a detailed look at what makes a certain region a great place to invest, visit, or relocate, with a particular focus on global economic impact, business diversity, and innovation.

American Airlines offers 6,700 flights daily to 350 destinations in 50 countries. In total, the airline serves nearly 200 million passengers a year. Past communities featured in Spotlight include Miami, St. Louis, Orlando, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

The Spotlight Lehigh Valley feature specifically includes a brief history of the region, a guide to its three cities, an interview with race car driver and famous Lehigh Valley resident Mario Andretti, and a featured article about the region’s top industries, companies, and economic trends.

“While the Lehigh Valley made its name as a great industrial region, helping to build and clothe America, its economy has diversified in recent decades, to the point where the annual output of its four largest economic sectors all lie within $650 million of each other,” the article begins.

Spotlight Lehigh Valley also features testimonials from the “Trailblazers,” representatives of some of the region’s most prominent companies and organizations. This includes Lehigh University President John Simon; Air Products President and CEO Seifi Ghasemi; and Nacho Abia, President and CEO of the Olympus Corporation of the Americas.

“The Lehigh Valley offers an area where we can provide market-leading benefits for employees, affordable housing options, and an excellent quality of life all around – everything from cost of living and good schools to recreational opportunities and easy access to cultural activities,” Abia said.

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