International Air Service: A Shared Community Vision

A new flight to Paris or Germany? It’s a real possibility for RDU in the near future.

That was a primary focus of the Regional Transportation Alliance’s 2015 Transportation Breakfast “The Economics of Expanding Air Service” held March 10 at the Umstead Hotel and Spa.

I had the pleasure of serving as one of three speakers at the breakfast alongside respected economists and airline experts Dr. Peter Belobaba of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John Heimlich of Airlines for America.

The event painted a very clear picture: increased international air service is possible in the Triangle but it requires a community-wide effort.

Our region is an attractive one for airlines. We have a successful, well-educated, well-traveled population not to mention international corporations and well-respected universities.Research Shows (4)

Expanding air service in the Triangle has been on our minds at RDU for some time, but it is not something that we can do alone. Airlines operate through very complex business models. We can’t just call the airlines and say “I’d like one 757 to Paris to go please” or “supersize that order to make it a 767.”


Source: Economic Benefits of International Service

Instead, recruiting a new flight requires planning and help from an active community, and we couldn’t ask for a better community than we have here in the Triangle.

This is where you come in.

Yesterday’s event allowed nearly 200 business and community leaders to hear about the impact that a new international flight would have on the Triangle.

And now’s the time for action.

We are grateful to RTA, their Air Service Advancement Program (ASAP) and to our community for getting behind this issue and making air service a priority.

We aim to be a world-class airport with unparalleled customer service to help our passengers reach destinations worldwide. We served 9.5 million passengers last year, and our passengers are asking for more. We need to add new international flights to meet the growing demands of this region.

This week’s RTA Breakfast was another important step, and we are excited to work hand-in-hand with RTA and our community to reach our goal.

A new flight is within our grasp and together we can grab it.



About Mike Landguth

Mike Landguth, AAE, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, which manages Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Mike joined RDU in November 2011. He and his family live in Cary along with their trusty canine sidekick, Thunder.
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One Response to International Air Service: A Shared Community Vision

  1. Jeff says:

    Seems like RDU is a good fit for the 787, perhaps as a replacement for the 767 to LHR as AA takes delivery of more 787’s. Paris would be a good fit for DL (previously announced Paris service but pulled back) or even Air France. Domestically, Alaska Airlines to SEA!

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