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Monday, July 6, 2009

Zuerst Hedo, jetzt das

The Lufthansa flights from Portland to Frankfurt will end September 12. Meanwhile, the Port of Portland is going to pay Delta Airlines millions to keep flying half-empty planes between the Rose City and Tokyo.

If only we had a Convention Center headquarters hotel and Major League Soccer, I'm sure none of this would be happening.

Comments (15)

Ya think? Or are ya pulling our legs again?

It's sad to see, but having two airlines offering non-stop flights to Europe was probably not sustainable for a city of Portland's size and (sadly low) economic importance.

I've almost taken this flight 4 or 5 times but always end up going via Seattle. It was too early to be a proper red eye. I assume this means that Addidas have cut back massively on travel which could mean worse news coming soon.

Sigh. ..Great flight, great service, etc.

Sorry to see it go.

Whenever my family took this flight, it was always full or nearly so. But it has been more than a year since the last flight, so things must be really slow.

Also like the Continental and United non-stops to NYC and Wash DC respectively. Always jammed full too.

I hope we're not turning into an remote way station.

What does this mean for Freightliner? Has Daimler picked the last bone clean?

the other reason why this flight might be going is the cost. We're going to Europe this summer. It didn't matter to us whether we went into Amsterdam or Frankfurt. I priced tickets to both destinations since both are available non-stop. Verdict: PDX-AMS $918 RT, PDX-FRA $1435. I don't care how comfortable the Lufthansa flight was, we're going to Amsterdam. Moreover, our total flight costs, including flights from AMS-PRAGUE, PRAGUE-PARIS, and PARIS-AMS is less in total than the ticket to Frankfurt. Perhaps Lufthana fleeced too many people for too long.

"Also like the Continental and United non-stops to NYC and Wash DC respectively. Always jammed full too."

I remember the days when you couldn't get there from here-you had to fly through a hub.

Nuts. I flew FRA-PDX earlier today. Not an empty seat on the A340.


Doing a random search on a random date hardly constitutes conclusive proof that Lufthansa was charging more than NWA/Delta for transatlantic flights from PDX. Airline ticket prices are constantly in flux, and changing the date of your search could well have yielded opposite results.


We had a flexible schedule and checked a variety of dates in July. No matter what dates we chose, the NWA/Delta flight was cheaper by no less than $500 than the Lufthansa flight every single day. It might be different in other months, but we didn't have other months available. In talking to friends who travel frequently, Lufthansa has always been significantly more expensive than the alternatives, whether non-stop from PDX or from SEA. I still think that my point is valid based on the limited research I've done.

I am nearly certain that the Port of Portland waived landing fees for all of the recent international direct flight deals they cooked up over the past 7 or 8 years.

That includes Luftanza, Mexicanna and either or both the Northwest and Delta arrangements.
Anything to cook up numbers.

The celebrations of the international flights when they began was ridiculous.
It was a risky experiment. Not an accomplishment to celebrate.

But that's how it works around here.

An OHSU, a PDC or Port or Metro or TriMet venture into some reckless scheme and declare success as soon as ink is dry.

Bottom line is we have to use speculation because we NEVER get the clear and complete story from anyone on any of these schemes.

That should tick people off.

Just once I'd like to see a complete cost- benefit report on something.

I'm sure all these cancelled flights will come back once our $XXX-Million second parking garage is finished.

I've flown the NWA to Tokyo three times now and each time there's never been an empty seat on the plane. And that's a long time for a big guy like myself . . . memorable.

My wife and I flew from PDX to San Fran to Munich on Lufthansa two years ago in March. We flew for $373 a piece including tax & fees. Hopefully Lufthansa comes back.

Hopefully Lufthansa comes back.

I don't see a realistic scenario that brings them back. They always wanted the Seattle service, and finally got it started last year. Now they fly to Frankfurt from Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, and to Munich from SF and LA as well. A daily Portland service requires a little more than a whole airplane (westbound flights just a bit too long to allow a reliable turn-around at both ends within 24 hours), and they can't fill it at that frequency. Our best alternative is to fly to Seattle and connect there. Or fly to Amsterdam and avoid the sprawl and crowds and mess at FRA.

I'm not sure why we even have an airport. With a decent high-speed train connecting Portland and Seattle, we could be growing strawberries out there.

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