The mayors of Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash., established the International Air Service Committee, which consists of business, travel industry and community leaders in the region. The committee is tasked with establishing and maintaining nonstop international air service between Portland International Airport and Europe, Asia, Mexico and Canada. The co-chairs are Michael Burke, senior travel manager, adidas-Group US, adidas America; Doreen Loofburrow, vice president, travel services and marketing, AAA Oregon; and Curtis Robinhold, deputy executive director, Port of Portland.
The committee was responsible for overseeing the recruitment of the Lufthansa Airlines nonstop service to Frankfurt in 2003; the Northwest Airlines/Delta nonstop service to Tokyo in 2004; and the Northwest Airlines/Delta nonstop service to Amsterdam in 2008.
In 2017, PDX is proud to showcase international nonstop service to 11 cities. Travelers can fly year-around from PDX to Amsterdam, Netherlands; Tokyo, Japan; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta and Guadalajara, Mexico. Seasonal nonstop flights include these destinations: London, United Kingdom; Toronto, Ontario; Frankfurt, Germany; Reykjavik, Iceland; and San Jose del Cabo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The recruitment and retention activities with which the committee is tasked represent a regional effort by the public and private sectors demonstrating to air carriers that international service to PDX would provide a strong market opportunity. Specific examples of those efforts included: A risk mitigation strategy by the Port of Portland; pledges of corporate support by the business community to use the nonstop international service; and marketing support provided by Travel Oregon, Travel Portland and the Port of Portland.
The committee is focused on the recruitment and subsequent retention of these services, and continues to work closely with regional partners, as well as the carriers themselves, to sustain these international flights over the long term.