Neither of these rivers is the Seine: Those guys down there in Atlanta have a lot to celebrate, what with the merger and the stock options and all, but we think they should stop drinking the left-over champagne. They just announced two new routes to Paris that have left us puzzled: Delta (yes, Delta, which includes Northwest) is going to fly from Pittsburgh, where it now has almost zero flights, and from Raleigh/Durham NC, where it has even fewer flights, starting next March. We are perplexed.
US Airways used to have several h
undred daily flights feeding Pittsburgh and it couldn’t keep up the overseas service there. By 2004, it had ended London and Frankfurt. BA pulled its Heathrow flights out of the Steel City in 1999. The big overseas travel in Pittsburgh is to Germany, carrying people who work for Bayer’s US subsidiary. Local officials say that the region produces about 225 people a day going to Western Europe, but even with a subsidy that kick in if Delta finds the revenues lagging, you have to wonder.
While RDU still has Heathrow service from American, it doesn’t have any other overseas service. American ended its Raleigh to Paris flights in 1994 after six years The North Carolina airport has just opened a snazzy new terminal but it has simply no behind or beyond service on Delta or Northwest, just hub links plus Indianapolis and Boston. Pittsburgh is even more worser: it has very limited Delta service to the airline’s hubs and competes for traffic flows with both Cincinnati (a Delta hub) and Detroit (a Northwest hub). So what about Paris, to which Delta will operate the flights in conjunction with Air France? Maybe there’s this big French company …..That’s the question.