British Airways is adding Pittsburgh to its route map, news that continues a string of air-service victories for the once-struggling Pittsburgh International Airport.
British Airways’ Pittsburgh service begins April 2, when the carrier will launch a schedule of four weekly flights to its main hub at London Heathrow. The airline will operate the year-round service on its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.
The move brings British Airways back to a city it last served in 1999.
“We are thrilled to have British Airways serving our region nonstop to London once again,” Christina Cassotis, Pittsburgh International Airport CEO, said in a staement. “Thank you to British Airways for selecting Pittsburgh and recognizing that our region is back. We are looking forward to working together to ensure the flight is a success.”
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The new British Airways route continues a run of good news for the airport, which had struggled with flight and passenger numbers in the decade since US Airways (now part of American) dropped the city as a hub in 2004.
But Pittsburgh’s fortunes have improved greatly under new CEO Christina Cassotis, who took over at the airport in 2015. Under her tenure, the number of non-stop destinations airlines fly from the airport has nearly doubled.
Pittsburgh also has added two new routes to Europe – WOW Air to Reykjavik and Condor Airlines to Frankfurt – addressing what had long been a priority for the airport. Those routes complemented Delta’s seasonal service to Paris that has been operating from Pittsburgh since the late 2000s.
Now, British Airways’ new London flight becomes the highest-profile international route to be added at Pittsburgh since Delta’s Paris route launched.
To help land the British Airways route, Pittsburgh is offering up to $1.5 million in incentives a year over two years, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.