By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s summer and the public is flying with more airlines and destinations than ever out of Pittsburgh International, says Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis at a taping of the Sunday Business Page.

“What really is the key to success for us is non-stop destinations, and we’ve gone from 37 to 68 in the course of two years,” Cassotis told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

Delano: “That’s remarkable. What’s the key to that?”
Cassotis: “Making sure we understand what the market here needs.”

What’s needed are more choices in non-stop destinations and lower prices.

“I believe everybody is trying to lower prices to get everybody to take their airlines,” said Michelle Summerville, a flyer from Altoona.

A growing number of people are flying out of Pittsburgh.

“April over April, we’re up 11 percent, which is fantastic news for us,” says Bob Kerlik, Airport Authority spokesman.

“And year to date to April, we’re up 6 percent. A lot of new passengers coming through and that’s due to a lot of interest in flying but also a lot of the new carriers coming in.”

Low-cost airlines like Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit are now here, and the number of airlines has doubled.

It used to be that flying was just for the rich and wealthy, but certainly that’s not the case any longer.

With Allegiant, Frontier, and now Spirit Airline flying out of Pittsburgh, they’re bargain rates to lots of cities.

For example, Spirit flies to Dallas-Fort Worth for $49 or to Myrtle Beach for $41. That’s about the price of filling up a tank of gas in your SUV.

Another attraction — non-stop international flights.

Delta’s Paris flight has resumed. Wow Air starts non-stop flights to Reykjavik, Iceland, enroute to Europe, and Condor Airlines will also begin non-stop service to Frankfort, Germany.

Adds Cassotis, “So between Condor, Wow, and Delta we will have three cities in Europe served this summer.”

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