Condor direct flight opens opportunities for New Orleans: A letter to the editor

Posted on: June 20 2016

By Letters to the Editor, | The Times-Picayune

The announcement of direct flights to Germany opens a world of business possibilities between New Orleans and major cities in Europe. Although Condor caters primarily to leisure travelers, we know that once people experience New Orleans, many return for business reasons, and in time, establish a business presence here. Enhanced connectivity to Middle Europe is a tribute to the hard work of the city of New Orleans, New Orleans Aviation Board, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and our regional partners at GNO Inc., among others.

What does this mean for New Orleans' business community? Direct flights to Europe and Central America enable New Orleans-based professional services firms to reach clients worldwide. They make it easier for our higher education institutions to recruit faculty and students. They propel more destination health care visits to our hospitals and physicians. Start-ups from around the globe can come to Collision directly from Europe and Central and South America.

Direct connection to one of the world's most advanced economies helps to ensure that New Orleans remains economically competitive with peer cities. As an economic developer, I face ever-increasing competition for corporate and regional headquarter relocations. Flight connectivity is one of a company's initial relocation considerations. Condor's announcement enhances the site location case for New Orleans to business executives – when combined with Copa Airlines' direct flights to Central America, regional airline GLO's recent launch and new nonstop destinations from Armstrong International Airport.

We welcome Condor and encourage New Orleanians to explore Germany and Middle Europe. Condor sets the stage for future international direct flights. With the North Terminal expansion, Armstrong International is positioned to welcome more carriers and celebrate future international destinations.

At the New Orleans Business Alliance, we are grateful for Condor's vote of confidence, yet recognize that significant work remains to ensure all New Orleanians are equipped to take advantage of the opportunities additional flight connectivity creates.  We pledge to work with the business community to ensure Condor's local success inspires other carriers to swiftly open additional vistas from our city to the world.

Quentin L. Messer Jr.

President and CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance

New Orleans