Last week, Philadelphia International Airport welcomed its first Virgin America flights (from Los Angeles), making it the first significant new airline to serve the Pennsylvania airport since 2004 when Southwest made the airport a base. In June, Alaska Airlines will also add Philadelphia to its network when it launches flights from Seattle, making this a significant year for the airport that last year handled just under 31 million passengers (for the third year in succession), making it the 18th busiest in the US. Competition is provided to some extent by Baltimore/Washington (to the south-west) and Newark (to the north).
US Airways serves 16 European cities non-stop this summer
Thanks to US Airways, Philadelphia offers non-stop flights to 16 European destinations this summer, with Air France (SkyTeam), British Airways (oneworld) and Lufthansa (Star Alliance) also offering daily flights to their respective European hubs in Paris, London and Frankfurt.
Rumours persist of a possible merger between American Airlines and US Airways, which could have implications for the airport. At present, Philadelphia is US Airways’ biggest long-haul hub on the East coast, but could lose out to American’s JFK hub in the future. Alternatively, both hubs could be successful as has happened in Europe with the Air France / KLM merger that still has two strong, relatively close together hubs in Amsterdam and Paris.