1st scheduled European flight lands Thursday

John Howell
Posted 6/16/15

Green Airport will get its first scheduled air service to Europe Thursday when a Condor Airlines 767-300 lands at 6:20 p.m.

A little more than two hours later, after a Rhode Island welcome with a …

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1st scheduled European flight lands Thursday


Green Airport will get its first scheduled air service to Europe Thursday when a Condor Airlines 767-300 lands at 6:20 p.m.

A little more than two hours later, after a Rhode Island welcome with a water salute of the aircraft and speeches from officials, the plane will fly back to Frankfurt, Germany.

As of Thursday, there were still some seats available on the inaugural flight from Green, according to Titus Johnson, Condor’s vice president for North America and the Caribbean. In a telephone interview, Johnson said the response to Condor entering the market has been strong. From Frankfurt, Condor offers a number of connecting flights to cities across Europe, including London, Paris, Prague, Vienna and Rome.

“It’s an opportunity to get to Europe at a fantastic price,” Johnston said.

He said one-way introductory fares are as low as $269. Roundtrip fares are $700. The airline offers three levels of service: business, premium economy and economy.

Like Transportes Aereos de Cabo Verde (TACV), which relocated service from Boston’s Logan to Green on June 2 to become the airport’s first regularly scheduled international overseas flight, Condor will operate from ticket counters that have become available with the merger of American and US Airways. They will share Gate 8.

TACV is providing twice-weekly service to the island nation of Cabo Verde, often referred to as Cape Verde, off the west coast of Africa.

Johnson said Condor has a history of “developing unique airline services,” finding a market and building on it. Condor is initiating service between Whitehorse, Alaska, and Frankfurt this month.

“We thought the time was right to come to Rhode Island,” he said. At this point, Green’s direct European connection is a seasonal service that will be operational until Sept. 3.

Johnson imagines extending that as demand grows. Condor’s timing to come to Green is also based on what the airlines see as “growing confidence in the economy.” The airport was also a factor in the decision.

“We’re encouraged by the quality of T.F. Green,” he said.

Romancing TACV and Condor involved a coordinated effort on the part of state officials and the tourism and hospitality industry. Also it required coordinating with U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the operation of facilities built into the terminal in 1999 but only used up until now for charter flights.

Patti Goldstein, vice president and director of marketing for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, said the agreements with TACV and Condor also involved deals on landing fees and rentals that comply with federal regulations. RIAC is also working closely with the airlines in marketing the service.

Goldstein said there would be a “festive sendoff” to the inaugural flight this Thursday. The plane is scheduled to depart at 8:30 p.m., arriving in Frankfurt at 9:50 a.m.

“This is the first time we’ve had direct service to the center of Europe,” said Goldstein. She said RIAC continues to work with other carriers in an effort to not only bring more international flights to Green but also increase domestic service.

Earlier this year Kelly Fredericks, president and CEO of RIAC, said the airport is working on several prospects that include service to London, Ireland, the Dominican Republic and Cancun.

Goldstein is excited about the opportunity to show off Rhode Island to new visitors.

“One of the most important pluses for the Condor service is introducing new visitors to our state, to bring awareness to what is special about our state and all Rhode Island has to offer,” she said.


2 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here

Hey, for a $269 one way flight, I know of a lot of people we could buy tickets to send to Europe.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Then why do we need to expand the runways daaah???

Wednesday, June 17, 2015