With ticket fares down 32% and passenger growth up 56%, the next thing CVG CEO Candace McGraw wants is more direct international flights. "They are at the top of my Christmas wish list," she says.
In its heyday, the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport saw Delta offer 670 daily flights with direct service to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Rome and Paris, as WVXU reported. But that was 2005. That year, Delta declared bankruptcy and reduced service at its one-time hub. Today, CVG just has one of those transatlantic flights here and it's to Paris.
McGraw is focusing on getting another transatlantic flight. "In this region we have about 2,000 that travel daily international. So that's Europe, the Middle East, etc. ... and India. Of that, about 25% of those people go to Europe, so that's high on our list."
Will A Direct Flight To Ireland Be Next?
Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall told WVXU's Michael Monks in an interview for Cincinnati Edition that he met with McGraw this week to discuss getting a direct Aer Lingus flight from CVG to Dublin.
"Dublin's now become a hub for European countries," Mulhall says. "You can transit to Dublin to every capitol city in Europe now very conveniently on our national carrier. They have 22 routes into the United States and I'm hoping Cincinnati might be included in their plans for the future as well."
CVG wouldn't confirm or deny the meeting with Mulhall. McGraw says CVG is in discussions with carriers all the time.
The Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport has a specific person who tries to convince carriers why CVG makes sense. "You know, what sort of aircraft might work, what the number of passengers might be, what the profit margin might be," McGraw says.
According to CVG, it's one of the fastest-growing airports in the United States for the last three years. In terms of cargo, DHL has its global super hub for the Americas at CVG and Amazon Air will have its largest hub with Phase 1 scheduled to open by late 2021.
Early next year, CVG will release its economic impact study. The last one in 2017 reported it was $4.4 billion.