Lost in the discussion around Delta's nonstop flight to Paris ("Delta's Flight to Paris Not Taking Off Financially," March 13) is the fact that it is working as intended, by serving as a gateway to destinations across Europe, India and the Middle East. Only one-third of the passengers who use the flight are headed to Paris. The vast majority are headed to destinations ranging from Athens to Zurich. They are using the Delta flight because flying to Paris to connect to Air France or another partner airline allows them to bypass the chaos, congestion and cancellations that plague the East Coast hub airports in Philadelphia, Newark and elsewhere.
Check a booking service like Travelocity to find the quickest way to fly from Pittsburgh to Dusseldorf, home to many of the region's German-owned companies -- it's via Paris on Delta/Air France, with the return trip getting you home at least two hours earlier than any other option. Or look at India, home to many of the region's technology experts and entrepreneurs -- the shortest flight from Pittsburgh to Mumbai is through Paris.
The top 10 destinations for passengers using the flight are Paris, Rome, Dusseldorf, Barcelona, Bangalore, Athens, London, Venice, Beirut and Mumbai. The flight arrival and departure is timed to provide connections to and from more than 100 markets in Europe and beyond.
The flight provides a necessary service to the internationally owned businesses in the Pittsburgh region; allows increased access to new markets for goods and services produced here; and makes the region more attractive for additional foreign investment and the associated jobs it brings. What company wouldn't invest in a driveway to make it easier for customers to reach its place of business? Pittsburgh's nonstop flight to Europe is our investment to better access the global marketplace.
Senior Vice President
Transportation & Infrastructure
Allegheny Conference on Community Development