New Nonstop Flights to Europe Inaugurated

By Premlata Venkataraman            e-mail:

On June 23rd Pittsburgh International Airport, after a thirteen year hiatus, got its first nonstop flight to Frankfurt with Condor Airlines’ twice-a-week flight. As Pittsburgh slowly shores up its international image, a nonstop flight to Frankfurt will greatly enhance this effort. The flight is seasonal, through September, and only twice a week — on Mondays and Fridays. Given how difficult it is to get nonstop flights to European destinations from second-tier cities in the US, this is a good start.

On the maiden flight were Rich Fitzgerald, the chief executive of Allegheny County, Christina Cassotis, CEO of Allegheny County Airport Authority, and other airport officials.

Earlier in mid-June, Iceland’s low-cost WOW Airlines started its all-year round, 4-times a week non-stop flights to Reykjavik from Pittsburgh. Coming on its heels, Condor’s twice-a-week seasonal flight will make travel to Europe convenient.

On the day Condor’s maiden flight landed, we had a close-up view of the landing while standing on the taxiway close to the end of the runway. Water cannons welcomed the plane at the gate. See picture.

A welcome ceremony was set up near the baggage claim area. Mr. Fitzgerald and other officials spoke. German favorites — pretzels, bratwurst and other snacks were laid out, and a celebratory cake was cut to the accompaniment of German music.

“Additional service to Europe has been a top priority for Pittsburgh International Airport. The airline’s wide-body aircraft is a great addition for Europe-bound travelers from Pittsburgh,” said Cassotis in her remarks.

Pittsburgh International valiantly tries to correct the reverses suffered by US Airways shutting down its PIT hub. Obviously, the new nonstops to overseas destinations are possible only with financial concessions to both Condor and WOW. Hopefully, with these steps, we will see better days.

End Note: For passengers from our area to destinations in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and Africa, the best option is a nonstop from Pittsburgh to Dubai or Abu Dhabi. This is because there are several daily non-stops from Persian Gulf hubs to cities in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Our hope is for Pittsburgh to get a nonstop flight to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Qatar. Let us hope it is soon!     ♣


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