Press Release

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
1 Aviation Circle - Washington, DC 20001-6000 - (703) 417-8370 - Fax: (703) 417-8371

Wednesday, December 06, 2000

Dulles Breaks Its Record for International Passengers

 

Dulles Breaks Its Record for International Passengers
New international destinations set for 2001

In the year 2000, Washington Dulles International Airport is expected to break an all-time record at the airport for international passengers. More than 4 million travelers used Dulles International in 2000. This represents a 13 per cent increase over 1999 and is the result of a focused effort to attract new international carriers and to encourage existing carriers to add more service for the Washington region.

"This continued growth in international passengers, and exciting developments in new international service for next year, clearly shows Dulles' role as the major mid-Atlantic gateway for international service," said James A. Wilding, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. "We will continue to work to increase options for international travel. Our building program to improve the facilities at Dulles will make the airport even more attractive to airlines and passengers alike."

Currently, sixteen airlines at Dulles provide flights to 30 foreign cities with nearly 270 weekly international departures. This is in addition to the fourteen domestic airlines at Dulles, which provide service to 75 U.S. destinations.

International air service is a major element for successful airports, represents both employment and tourism opportunities and brings needed connections to the business community. The growth of the high tech businesses along the Dulles Corridor has been aided by the service at Dulles for both passengers and cargo on international aircraft.

The picture continues to look positive for continued success in expanding this service.

The Airports Authority has announced new airline service in 2001 when area travelers will have even more international destination choices.

For the first time, there will be capital-to-capital service beginning on March 25, 2001, when Lufthansa German Airlines starts service to Berlin with six flights per week from Dulles. According to Thomas Winkelmann, Lufthansa's Vice President, the Americas, Lufthansa is embarking on the long-awaited nonstop U.S. connection to Berlin partly because of the increasing demand as a result of the move to Berlin by the German government.

Winkelmann says interest in the route from the North American side has been high. "We're glad that economic circumstances have finally made it possible to offer this highly anticipated service", said Winkelmann.

This new route will increase overall service this summer between Dulles and Germany to 41 flights a week to three German cities, Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin.

Starting on April 30, 2001, there will be a new route to the United Kingdom from Dulles when British Midland inaugurates daily service to Manchester, England. According to British Midland Chairman, Sir Michael Bishop, "The introduction of these services to Washington DC represents a major step forward in opening up key American business destinations to genuine competition from Britain's regional airports. This is great news for our transatlantic air travelers from Manchester. We look forward to bringing similar benefits of competition to transatlantic customers from London Heathrow in the near future."

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will begin service to Copenhagen, Denmark, in May. The airline will offer five flights a week initially and is expected to expand to daily service in June. This opens a new European market to area travelers who can make connections on SAS to other European cities. This is the first airline service from Washington to Copenhagen, which boasts the third largest European pharmaceutical and biotechnology region, and gives the Washington metropolitan region more direct access to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

"Through Washington D.C., we are improving the accessibility of the North American market for our customers," says Vagn Sörensen, Senior Vice President, SAS Business Systems Division. "But Washington is more than a traffic hub. Ten million people live within a two-hour radius of the airport and the business sector in the region is in a phase of strong development, with a stream of new high-tech and biotechnology companies becoming established."

"In addition, the Washington region has the second-highest concentration of biotechnology companies after Boston, Massachusetts," adds Vagn Sörensen. The new route will give Europe's third-largest pharmaceuticals and biotechnology area - Medicon Valley in the Öresund Region - a natural direct link with Washington D.C.

With the addition of British Midland and SAS, Dulles now offers service on all of the Star Alliance European carriers - Austrian, British Midland, Lufthansa, SAS, and United Airlines. This is a great benefit to travelers who can earn frequent flyer miles on all the participating carriers. Other Star Alliance carriers operating at Dulles include Air Canada and All Nippon Airways.