Survey: Area Businesses Want International Flights from Bradley

Direct access to London, Amsterdam, Frankfort and Paris requested.

A survey of 19 area businesses indicates that there is an interest for transatlantic flights from .

Kevin Dillon executive director of  the Connecticut Airport Authority, said the survey is an effort to reach out to passengers and gather information on what flights they would want from Bradley.

According to the survey results, the companies spend about $22.8 million annually on transatlantic flights, Dillon told the CAA board of directors at its meeting Thursday. Six of those companies account for more than 90 percent of that spending.

The companies indicated that they would be interested in direct flights to European locations such as London, Amsterdam, Frankfort and Paris, Dillon said. The companies said they would be willing to fly from Bradley, he added.

CAA officials said they also want to see if there is commitment from area businesses to use flights if they are created.

“If we have X route will you commit X dollars in travel,” Dillon said.

The participants in the survey were recruited through the MetroHartford Alliance, the Economic Development Commission of Western Massachusetts and Northeast Utilities, Dan Carstens, marketing consultant for the airport, said.

As part of the agreement to get the companies to participate in the survey, CAA officials agreed to keep the names of the businesses confidential, officials said.

Dillon said the companies spend $39.5 million on domestic flights. The participants said they would like to see direct flights to Los Angeles,  San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix.

Establishing international routes from Bradley has been a goal of airport officials for a long time. Dillon said he would like to take the information gathered from the survey and start meeting with international carriers about route development in December.

CAA Chairwoman Mary Ellen Jones said the agency has a few more steps to go.

“But to have this data to take to the companies is a good start,” Jones said.

Barbara Doskos August 20, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Not only would international flights, especially Europe help local business it would also be a great help to the vacation traveller. Having to go to Boston or New York is exhausting and expensive. I would much rather tag that onto the cost of a direct flight to Europe. Of course that would mean Bradley would have customs facilities. How can they even think of calling themselves "International" without such a facility. It would be funny if it were not so sad.
Justin August 20, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Additional domestic destinations- and especially trans-Atlantic service- is not going to happen. Every hometown airport in the United States wants more service with more nonstop options. Airlines are slashing domestic capacity, and are adding international service only from major hub cities. BDL's greatest weakness is that it lies between two major international gateways; Boston and New York, which offer frequent domestic and international flights to almost every major city in the world. Boston and New York are also vastly less expensive to fly out of because competition keep ticket prices low. The average one way fare from Hartford to Atlanta is $244, compared with $174 for LGA and $189 for BOS. Small wonder Connecticut bleeds so much traffic to these airports. BDL had a trans-Atlantic nonstop to Amsterdam. It was discontinued. If the flight was profitable, it would still be around. BDL also lost nonstop service to Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Memphis, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Phoenix, all within the past couple of years. According to the USA Today, the number of available seats on departing flights out of BDL dropped 12.3% between May 2011 and May 2012. BDL needs to be in defensive mode. The airport's priority should be maintaining the flights it currently has. Pipe dreams about West Coast and trans-Atlantic service are ludicrous in this economy.


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