Hey all! 👋🏻
As you may know this is a great day for me, British Airways is flying to Pittsburgh International Airport, so I am here to awnser everything about why, who is behind this move, and the rest. So buckle in, this is going to be a doozy…
Why Pittsburgh? That’s a good question, especially when it is a major airline like BA. I have seen this coming for a while, but honestly I was anticipating Norwegian Air UK, or a US carrier, not BA. But BA has served Pittsburgh before up until 1999 they had a route to London Gatwick, that route was picked up by U.S. Air in 2000, and continued till 2004. Since then there has been no direct service to London. But as @Kevin_Potthast mentioned in a different thread BA has been snatching up smaller markets, especially ones with a lot of AA. And Europe servace in general has been booming ever since delta brought it back with Paris in 2011. That route was upgraded to a 767 from a 757 last year, and two more. An A321 (sometimes an A320neo), and a Condor 767. All seem to be doing well, condor is in its second year, and had boosted frequency and started eirlier this year. Delta upgraded as mentioned above, and WOW seems to be doing well in its second year as a year round servace. Reportedly many of these passengers are connecting, and London seems like a logical next step. I doubt the large incentives are hurting our bid either.
So there are a few obvious parties, BA, the Allegheny County Airport Authority, but there are a few other key players. American could be considered a player since their increasing presence in Pittsburgh is certainly a big factor. And maby a larger player is the Visit Pittsburgh organization seems to have played a part. A few weeks ago there was an article that said that they had met with airlines and were “hoping to welcome flights to the U.K. soon…” We’ll here we are, we have finally reached that. This flight has been a goal of the the airport for quite the while. That may be a reason in why they were willing to pay out 3 million dollars for the flight in association with a PA state organization. But it is a major win for the local economy wich may be worth it, who know… 🤷🏻♂️
First let’s address that payment of 3 million I mentioned eirlier. It is not the first time they have payed an airline for a flight, WOW get 800,000 a year, Condor gets 500,000, and there is 560,000 out for the China Flight. Qatar is getting more at 1.46 million for the first year of service, and OneJet a start up company received almost 1 million from the airport and 2 million from the State. And many more incentives have been given. That may seem like a terrible economic idea, but you need to consider that KPIT is government owned, so they aren’t looking for a profit. So that means that they are valuing a direct service to London at 3 million a year, because of the economic impact to the region, not because of the flight itself. This is important to keep in mind, and the flights definitely work. Just speaking from experience since more Europe flights have launched in the last 2-3 years I have observed a notable increase in people going to Europe in general. So yes, there is a pretty sizable value. And about what I am very excited about, that 787! Honestly this makes sense since they have started using this no some smaller markets like Nashville, so is it a huge surprise? No…
Hope you are all more informed, and had a great time reading! 👋🏻