Nonstop Transatlantic Service Considered at Pittsburgh

Next stop: Amsterdam?

Pittsburgh airport officials and a group representing the region's business travelers are talking with Northwest Airlines about launching nonstop service between Pittsburgh and Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Kent George, executive director of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, would not elaborate on the discussions with the Eagan, Minn.-based airline, and he was quick to add that airport officials were "talking with three or four other airlines" about establishing transatlantic service out of Pittsburgh International Airport.

Dean Breest, a Northwest spokesman, said the airline had no comment on the talks or the would-be service.

Nonstop transatlantic service hasn't been offered out of Pittsburgh since US Airways ended direct flights to Frankfort, Germany, and London in late 2004. George and the Regional Air Service Partnership, the business-travelers group, have called restoring the service their top priority.

The Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce is surveying its 1,100 members to gauge interest in the potential flight, asking them whether they would find the flight "attractive" and whether they would have problems flying aboard a "Boeing 757 narrow-body as opposed to a wide-body jet."

The narrow-body jet would have 16 business-class seats and 140 coach seats, the survey said.

The survey also says that "while Amsterdam is not a top international destination for Pittsburgh business travelers, it is a robust KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) hub that has connections throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East."

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