Pittsburgh eyes UK growth as BA flights set to return

Pittsburgh is eyeing significant growth from the UK market as it gears up for the resumption of British Airways direct services in June.

The city is planning a range of trade activity to promote itself as a gateway to ‘authentic America’ and an alternative to larger city entry points including New York.

Plans for trade engagement include the imminent launch of a new agent training platform, a prize draw to win a place on a fam trip, more educationals planned for the autumn and a trade showcase at the end of May.

Jerad Bachar, chief executive of Visit Pittsburgh (pictured, inset), said: “We are very excited to see British Airways come back, that is a major connector not just for the UK but the rest of the world.

“The return of the flights will really help us position Pittsburgh in the minds of the consumer and of agents.”

Bachar said Pittsburgh offered the “true story of Americana” and said the city’s experiences and amenities meant it could compare favourably with major gateways such as New York while offering a more affordable option.

Visit Pittsburgh is also planning a brand refresh this year and Bachar said he was keen to ensure members of the UK trade had access to a range of co-brandable marketing materials.

He said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, there is something to be said for going to destinations that are not as heavily travelled and where you are not always going to be in crowded areas.

“We have a compelling culinary and heritage offering and a cultural district that showcases our industrial past and diverse population and I believe that will really appeal to visitors from the UK and Ireland.”

British Airways services resume from Heathrow on June 3 and will run throughout this summer and into autumn.

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