PITTSBURGH, PA--(Marketwired - March 31, 2017) - Caissa Touristic announced its intention to conduct nonstop charter service from China to Pittsburgh beginning this year, the region's first link to the lucrative Chinese tourism market.
Pittsburgh is the first market in North America to receive nonstop charter service on a program through Caissa. The flights will be between China and Pittsburgh in 2017 as part of a partnership agreement with Pittsburgh International Airport, VisitPITTSBURGH, and Idea Foundry. Pittsburgh will be the arriving and departing gateway for hundreds of Chinese tourists who are visiting the U.S. East Coast.
The company will also be selling tickets to the Pittsburgh region for those interested in nonstop service to China on the return flights. The precise schedule will be finalized in coming weeks. The plans could include flights next summer as a part of the multi-year partnership with Caissa.
"We are excited to enter into this historic partnership with Pittsburgh International Airport and the Pittsburgh region to offer an additional travel option to the United States," said Caissa Touristic President Chen Xiaobing, "Pittsburgh will be a great connection to Chinese markets."
"This is a fantastic opportunity for our region to become, really, the first medium-size city in the country as a destination for Chinese tourists," Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. "Our region's businesses, the airport, and our tourism industry will be the primary beneficiary of this agreement."
Fitzgerald, along with Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis, VisitPITTSBURGH CEO Craig Davis and Michael Matesic, President & CEO of Idea Foundry, Inc., traveled to China and met with officials there.
"This is huge step forward for the future, particularly for nonstop air service to China. The charter-to-scheduled service model has been successfully adopted in other parts of the world," said Christina Cassotis, Pittsburgh International Airport CEO. "We are the first U.S. market to tap into China's fast-growing tourism market with this type of business model, and it shows Pittsburgh to be an industry leader."
VisitPITTSBURGH will work with Caissa to book hundreds of Chinese tourists at Pittsburgh's hotels, restaurants, cultural attractions, and outdoor tours. The marketing partnership also includes a year-round destination marketing campaign facilitated by VisitPITTSBURGH, aimed at delivering smaller Chinese tour groups on existing scheduled flights via other international gateways in the shoulder and off-peak seasons as well.
"Our region's tourism-related businesses are truly excited to have this opportunity to market Pittsburgh to China -- a market that is exponentially increasing and looking to travel," VisitPITTSBURGH CEO Craig Davis said. "These flights mean Pittsburgh will be a focus of their American experience."
This international service follows inaugural flights in June to Iceland on WOW air and to Germany on Condor Airlines from Pittsburgh International Airport. Delta will also commence its nonstop flight to Paris for a ninth year beginning in May.
About Allegheny County Airport Authority:
Allegheny County Airport Authority, which manages Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport, is committed to increasing air service, improving customer service and inspiring growth in the Pittsburgh region. Its 2016 Annual Report detailing growth and improved financial position can be found at www.flypittsburgh.com/AR16.
Pittsburgh International Airport serves more than 8 million passengers annually on 16 carriers. During the past two years, the airport has increased its nonstop destinations more than 80 percent to include 68 airports. Air Transport World named Pittsburgh International its 2017 Airport of the Year. Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast both named Pittsburgh International a Top 10 Domestic Airport in 2016. In addition, TripAdvisor ranked Pittsburgh International Airport a Travelers' Choice Favorite for Shopping in 2016.