Sir Richard Branson celebrates new flights at Metro Airport

Sir Richard Branson is one of the world's wealthiest people and he spent Thursday in metro Detroit.

He's welcoming Virgin Atlantic to the motor city and even allowed some entrepreneurs a chance to pitch him their big ideas.

Arriving in a "Detroit Hustles Harder" T-shirt Thursday, Branson, founder and president of Virgin Atlantic, celebrated the airline's launch of non-stop flights between London and Detroit.

"Its been an underdog city for years and it's fighting back," Branson said. "It will be one of the great cities of America again."

After stepping off of the "Dream Jeannie" Branson shared his optimism with the CEOs of Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Wayne County's Airport Authority, along with city and county leaders.

"This is what Wayne County and the region and Detroit needs," said Warren County Executive Warren Evans. "Partnerships like this."

With direct, daily flights since June 1, between Detroit Metro and London Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic is the only British airline to operate the route. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says this announcement doesn't just mean more money in tourism and business.

"For anybody in this world that has a soft spot for the underdog," Duggan said. "This is a place that will warm your heart."

Calling Detroit a vibrant city with "fantastic history," during his trip  Branson will host an event Friday at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit to mentor local entrepreneurs.

"The job the mayor is doing is getting Detroit back on its feet again," Branson said. "I think Virgin Atlantic can help play a role in that."

As the new route is launched bringing more people to Detroit, Branson teased there could be more to come.

"We'd love it if we could find the right site to build a Virgin hotel in Detroit," Branson said.

"We'll talk soon," Duggan quipped.

"I've got an existing jail site that might work," Evans said.
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