RDU Airport, N.C. – In a special news conference today at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Delta Air Lines announced it will launch daily, nonstop service between the Triangle and Paris. With the addition, RDU becomes the only medium-sized hub airport to offer its passengers two daily, nonstop transatlantic flights. Delta will offer the service beginning May 12 on a Boeing 757-200.
“We are thrilled to welcome Delta Air Lines’ nonstop service from RDU to Paris,” said Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority President and CEO Michael Landguth. “The launch of this new service speaks to the strength of our market and the demand for service not only to Europe but to a gateway destination that offers connections to cities throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East.”
“The Research Triangle is an important market for Delta, and our new Paris flight is the latest in a series of Delta investments in the region, both at the airport and in the community,” said Bob Somers, Delta’s Vice President – Global Sales. “For business or leisure, we look forward to serving our customers across the Atlantic as we strengthen our relationship with the region, and the region’s ties to the world.”
Each year, more than 1.5 million people travel between RDU and international destinations. Today, daily nonstop service to London serves approximately 10% of these travelers.
“Air service development, particularly international service, is key to our region’s global competiveness and growth,” said Bob Geolas, the Research Triangle Foundation’s President and CEO. “Just as the founders of Research Triangle Park envisioned that its development would lead to a stronger community, their spirit of generosity is evident today in that the Foundation is proud to represent private and public sector partners that support nonstop international service between RDU and Paris.”
A public/private partnership between local governments and the business community has committed $1.1 million to support the flight. The Airport Authority is providing $1.25 million in fee waivers and $500,000 in marketing funds.
“We thank our community and the partnerships it formed to bring this service to our region.”
said Dickie Thompson, Airport Authority board chairman. “Today, airlines ask communities to share in the risks associated with launching new service. Our community stepped up to the challenge and formed a public/private partnership that illustrates its commitment to additional nonstop international air service.”
International Air Service and Economic Impact
In addition to providing nonstop service to Europe, Delta’s new international flight will also have a direct economic impact on the region and state.
In 2014, N.C. State Economist Michael Walden determined that the economic impact of one international flight will result in an additional $25 million in net economic spending in the Triangle and create 100 new jobs within the first year.
Over a 25 year period, Walden found, the impact of one international flight will boost the region’s GDP by $1.4B, add 14,000 new jobs and contribute $272 million to public entities.
The flight will depart Paris at 10:45 a.m. and arrive at RDU at 2 p.m. A 6:15 p.m. departure from RDU arrive in Paris at 8:35 a.m. the following day.