Transatlantic inevitability

This week’s blog focuses on the return of transatlantic service from Raleigh/Durham International.

Iceland    RDU will have its first flight across the Atlantic since the pandemic began when IcelandAir launches to Reykjavik starting this spring

The flight will create a new way to get to mainland Europe from our region, and it does so at a time when the airline industry is still in pandemic recovery mode. As we noted in late 2021, the fact that Icelandair only serves a very small number of North American destinations speaks to their confidence in our market. In addition, a unique central Atlantic geographic location of Iceland as literally the bridge between two continents will make it a compelling one stop alternative to consider.

Mainland Europe    This week we learned via Triangle Business Journal that American Airlines has again delayed the restart date of our prior nonstop flight from RDU to London Heathrow until June 2022.

The Regional Transportation Alliance is aware that communities such as Austin have seen their prior London service recently restored, with a second carrier starting London service later this spring. Austin has been a peer market of the Research Triangle for decades, and their recent success give us confidence that our region will be on a similar pathway for relaunching London service at RDU.

I stated to Lauren Ohnesorge with TBJ this week that our international service to London will return – it’s just a matter of when.

“Given the growth trajectory of our market, both prior to and during the pandemic, the return of RDU-London service is inevitable, with the timing simply a question of when the business travel demand is ready,” Milazzo said.

RTA appreciates the decades-long partnership with American Airlines for our region’s first transatlantic connection, and we look forward to celebrating its return soon. We also appreciate the newer partnership with Delta Air Lines for our region’s Paris service, and its anticipated restart later this summer.

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation


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