Richard Branson Saves London's Pizza

By Londonist Last edited 145 months ago
Richard Branson Saves London's Pizza

Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways has announced a new London-U.S. route to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to begin on 23 April, 2007.

This will help open up Virgin to the midwest and heartland of the U.S. It will also be a convenient hub for travel to and from Canada and the north and northwest of the USA. Currently the only direct flights to Canada Virgin provides stop at Ottawa and Quebec, leaving the western 2/3 of the vast country at the mercy of other airlines.

O'Hare has been year after year rated the busiest airport in the world, and, after New York, is the third most popular destination for long-haul travellers from London..

Chicago has been notorious for its delays. A new expansion and redesign plan was given a green light last year. The plan hopes to increase the aiport's capacity by as much as 60%. International Terminal 5, which will be Virgin's new home in Chicago, is included in the renovation.

With the promise of another major airline making direct flights to Chicago, the prospect looms for a Pizza Revolution.

There's nothing wrong with Italian pizza. But real pizza - pizza that satisfies the heart, soul and mind, not just the belly, comes from Chicago. Chicago pizza has its roots in Sicily, and was perfected by Italian-American immigrants in the 1930's and 40's.

If Londoners are to find alternatives to corporate chain pizzas and well-intentioned but misguided stabs by local entrepreneurs, it must experience – however frightening a prospect – a rethinking of its pizza aesthetics.

Perhaps Londonist and Chicagoist could be of service in this endeavour by sneaking pizzas through customs in specially heated hat boxes, in a kind of "underground pizza railroad". Finally, a great slice of pizza will be available in the capital, starting in April 2007. Keep reading Londonist for details.

by Neal Romanek

Last Updated 05 December 2006