Sprechen Sie Direct Flight?

A new flight from Frankfurt widens the door for international travel

As of May 2017, Condor Airlines will fly direct itineraries between Louis Armstrong International Airport and Frankfurt, Germany twice a week. This could be a game-changer for New Orleans.

City and tourism leaders have long been courting international airlines in order to widen access and ease of travel to New Orleans. This new seasonal service will bring European travelers twice a week during our slower summer months and operate on Wednesdays and Sundays from May to September.

Condor touts itself as being a leisure airline “with many years of experience with long-haul flights to tourist destinations and sees great potential in (the) new destinations as well,” according to Jens Boyd, the group head of long-haul at Condor.

Scoring this service before New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018 positions the city well to attract more European tourists, who tend to spend more money and stay longer than domestic visitors. New Orleans hasn’t had a direct flight to Europe for over thirty years and this, along with the new $807 million terminal construction project at the airport, is a good sign for even more growth.

Tourist spending in New Orleans was a record high in 2015 at over $7 billion. And while we still haven’t reached our pre-Katrina record of 10.1 million annual visitors, city officials are confident we will reach the goal of 13 million visitors in 2018.

So what does this mean for the city? Certainly issues around infrastructure and public safety need to addressed and improved. Thankfully the city just completed the repair to the hole on Canal Street on time and under budget. The increases in public transportation services and the expansion of the Rampart/St. Claude streetcar line also help us to be more competitive with urban destinations.

As long as city leaders continue to make these strategic investments, one can’t help but feel optimistic that other airlines will follow Condor’s lead and want to offer their customers direct service to New Orleans as well.

The Condor flights can be booked online now and a round trip itinerary search shows economy ticket prices are averaging just under $900. Condor is flying Boeing 767-300ER jets that seat 259 passengers for this service, offering premium and business class seats in addition to economy.



Categories: Hospitality, National News, Tourism Biz