Friday - August 18, 2017
RDU Trying to Attract New International Flights
Written by Michael Papich   
Friday, 06 March 2015 17:20

RALEIGH-As the Triangle continues to grow, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce is working to increase the number of direct international flights to and from Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Harvey Schmitt, chamber president, says more business for RDU helps the surrounding area.

"RDU has an $8 billion economic impact on the Triangle on an annual basis and it's a very important economic engine," Schmitt says.

But Schmitt, says attracting airlines to offer new international flights will be challenging since airlines have adjusted to the tighter market.

"The airlines have figured out that they can make more money by managing the supply and demand curve," Schmitt says. "So they put less planes out and they fill more seats. And so, I think that's part of the reason why it's hard to get a new international flight in, because the airlines are being very persnickety about whether they add new flights."

This Tuesday, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Transportation Alliance are holding a meeting with industry experts to examine the possibility of bringing in more international flights to RDU.

"They will speak to trends and improvements and what communities have to do to be successful in that space," he says. "Then we're going to have RDU Airport Authority CEO Michael Landguth discuss how the airport and the business community are working together."

Schmitt says the area is conducive to new international flights, even if the industry is trying to tighten up.

"Despite the contraction in the number of airlines, this still remains a pretty attractive market," he says. "We just have to convince folks that if they come in here, they're going to be successful."

Of the flights RDU offers, fewer than 10 percent go to international destinations.

 
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