Area Companies Form Triangle Takeoff Coalition to Encourage Air Travel

Coalition Launches “Carry On” Campaign Featuring Prominent Triangle Companies, Personalities

Some of the Research Triangle’s most high-profile companies announced the formation of the Triangle Takeoff Coalition today to help facilitate regional economic recovery and restore nonstop destinations at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). The coalition is comprised of seventeen area companies and organizations that understand the value of the airport to the Research Triangle’s economy and quality of life.

“We are thrilled the Triangle’s business community recognizes the importance of the airport to the region’s economic recovery and has formed a coalition dedicated to getting our community back in the air,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority.

The coalition also announced the launch of a new campaign Monday to encourage area residents and businesses to return to the skies. The new “Carry On” advertising campaign features some of the most recognizable local figures in the region — including Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour, actor and playwright Ira David Wood III and more — stoking excitement about returning to everyday life and air travel. The campaign is unique because it is funded by businesses and organizations across the region that are invested in RDU’s recovery.

Viewers can watch the full “Carry On” TV spot online.

“The campaign captures the importance of carrying on with everyday life as we begin to recover from the pandemic, including visiting family and friends, taking vacations and doing business around the world,” Landguth continued.

The “Carry On” campaign’s primary goals are to help RDU regain and secure domestic and international travel destinations so they aren’t lost long-term; sustain a competitive advantage over international organizations as they begin to travel again; build confidence in air travel throughout the community; reinforce a commitment to the region’s economic success; and maintain the Triangle’s status as a Top Place to Live and Work.

“At its core, the Triangle Takeoff Coalition is a group of global, national and regional businesses coming together because we understand the importance of RDU Airport to our region, and how we must preserve and regain global connectivity in order to thrive,” said Chad Henry, corporate vice president and general manager of Novo Nordisk. “This past year, when the pandemic suspended nearly all air travel, Novo Nordisk carried on by continuing 24/7 production of medicines, assembled and packaged in the Triangle, then shipped to patients in need around the world. That would not have been possible without RDU Airport.”

Dozens of community sponsors virtually convened late last year to form the new Triangle Takeoff Coalition — a group of companies that rely on air travel to connect them with the places they want to visit and the cities where they want to do business.

Easy access to domestic and international markets through RDU is one of the reasons North Carolina’s Research Triangle region continues to earn accolades as one of the best places to live and work in the U.S. A thriving airport is a key recruiting tool for companies that want to expand or relocate to the area. RDU has an annual economic impact of $15 billion and supports nearly 100,000 regional jobs, positioning it to help lead the region’s economic recovery as travelers return to flying.

Local business owners featured in the new advertising campaign joined airport officials and sponsors to celebrate its launch Monday morning at RDU’s Terminal 2. Advertisements are running online, in print and on television and radio beginning this week.

Social media users can find the Triangle Takeoff Coalition using @TriangleTakeoff on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. For more information, visit

Members of the Triangle Takeoff Coalition are:

  • Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority
  • Novo Nordisk
  • Capitol Broadcasting Company
  • Cree | Wolfspeed
  • Eckel & Vaughan
  • FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies
  • Lenovo
  • Research Triangle Foundation
  • United Therapeutics
  • Cisco
  • Kane Realty
  • Duke University
  • Syngenta
  • PNC
  • Smith Anderson
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Regional Transportation Alliance
  • Stewart

Hear from the Triangle Takeoff Coalition

“FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is a contract development and manufacturing organization with a core purpose of advancing tomorrow’s medicines. It is essential that our clients and vendors have easy flight access to our North Carolina locations located in Research Triangle Park and our upcoming facility in Holly Springs. Partnering to be part of the Triangle Takeoff Coalition can help rebuild the airline options for RDU.” – Christine Vannais, Chief Operating Officer, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, North Carolina Site

“Humans need real-world connections– and RDU is our global gateway to the people and places that matter most. At the end of the day, technology and aviation bring people closer, together. Whether it is shuttling colleagues to meetings that rise above the now norm virtual meeting, or sending Lenovo technology solutions to schools or businesses that need it most all the way across the globe. The Triangle economy is poised for growth — and it can’t wait.” – Lisa Marie Ferrell, Chief Communications Officer, Lenovo North America

“RDU’s success is a critical element in the Triangle’s not-so-secret sauce. We expect the Triangle Takeoff Coalition to help successfully reboot our airport as we advance beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.” – Scott Levitan, President & CEO, Research Triangle Foundation

“As a local employer committed to the region and a company that operates at the cutting edge of biotech and innovation, United Therapeutics understands the importance of a robust and thriving economy with access to the best talent from around the country. We are excited to be an active partner in the Triangle Takeoff Coalition and support the ‘Carry On’ campaign launching today. We know that a prosperous Research Triangle community is good for business, and we are excited to see the impact of this program.” – Michael Benkowitz, President and COO, United Therapeutics