MIAMI, Nov. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. Gonzalez and MIA Asia Task Force members.

With the goal of attracting first-ever nonstop passenger service between Miami and Asia, Miami-Dade County officials convened the first meeting of community and business leaders who have partnered together to form the MIA Asia Task Force. Task Force Chairman Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González presided over the November 12 meeting, which was hosted by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"We will continue to present our case to air carriers that strong economic, educational and cultural links exist between Miami and Asia that merit direct air service," said Mayor Gimenez. "The Asia Task Force will help us do exactly that by introducing potential partner carriers to Miami-Dade's top leaders."

During the opening meeting, a plan of action and timeline for executing efforts were discussed. Follow-up meetings hosted by MIA with airlines to demonstrate the growing demand for nonstop Asian routes will take place in the coming months.

"We have worked diligently for many years to secure direct Asia service and we are closer to realizing this goal than ever before," said Director González. "Even though our location is the furthest U.S. point from Asia, aircraft technology has advanced to the point that these extra-long-range nonstop flights are now possible."

Miami International Airport offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport, is America's second-busiest airport for international passengers, boasts a lineup of 100 air carriers and is the top U.S. airport for international freight. MIA, along with its general aviation airports, is also the leading economic engine for Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida, generating business revenue of $33.7 billion annually and welcoming 70 percent of all international visitors to Florida. MIA's vision is to grow from a recognized hemispheric hub to a global airport of choice that offers customers a world-class experience and an expanded route network with direct passenger and cargo access to all world regions. MIA is committed to sustainable practices. Learn more at For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, transportation and more, visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

Greg Chin