Do I think the city is ready for transatlantic service now? No
Do I think the city will be ready in about 5 years? Yes
The need for international service of this caliber is not quite needed yet in Columbus, but as the city continues on its rapid rate of growth, I'm sure the issue will become more prevalent. The city is still embarking on a number of infrastructure improvements. Though many undertakings have recently been completed, such as the Nationwide Arena, the new Center of Science and Industry (COSI) Museum and the expansion of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus should definitely be ready for transatlantic service by 2005-2006. By then, other city improvements currently under construction and under proposal will be completed or nearing completion. Currently, a major problem is that many people do not know what the city has to offer. Unlike nearby cities such as Cleveland and Cincinnati, Columbus doesn't really have a reputation. However, with numerous events in Columbus gaining nation, and even worldwide attention, hopefully that will change.
If or when Columbus does receive transatlantic service, it would most likely be with an international carrier. Most US airlines fly transatlantic flights from their hubs, so it would be awkward to have an airline such as Northwest or TWA start overseas flights from CMH. America West will definitely not be expanding to Europe any time soon, and if they did, it would not be from Columbus. Also, it would probably be to either London, Paris, or Frankfurt, since there would not be sufficient demand for most other major European markets. The port authority actually met with British Airways and Lufthansa concerning starting nonstop service to Columbus a few years back. I do not know what were the results of the talks, but nothing has happened yet. If an airline were to start service from Europe to Columbus, two or three nonstops weekly with an aircraft such as the 767 would proabably be sufficient.
As a citizen of Columbus, I would definitely like to see nonstop transatlantic service to Europe, but everything lies in the moneymaking potential of such an endeavor.