Make no mistake losing PIT-CDG and a Skyteam connection to Europe was a huge loss for PIT. The connections at CDG were far more numerous than what BA can offer with their sub-optimally timed PIT-LHR flight. I still wish DL would have stuck it out with 5x weekly 757s, especially with the loss of WW. Its not like DL never offered less than daily 757 service....
Completely agree here, I was just thinking the same about DL as I was trying to book flights to Europe for this coming summer. Maybe LHR is the number 1 desired European destination, but it doesn't come close to the connections we had from CDG. Everything from LRH is either expensive or over an 8 hour layover. Both make it not that helpful. Condor's great to have, but at 2x weekly, it's hard to make it work. Them having a few extra weekly flights would be really nice to make up for the loss of DL/WW. I'm sure the chances to get DL back on the CDG route are nil, (I called DL last year to express my displeasure that it was being cut) but it would be most welcome. And honestly, as excited as I was about PIT-LHR, I don't see it being nearly has convenient as PIT-CDG was, unless you're going to the UK.
Could the ACAA have offered Delta money once again for the CDG flight the way BWI does for BA?
DL got somewhere between $5-7 million (exact figure is not public) at the start of their 10 year PIT-CDG run. The economy was tanking big time and I doubt there were very many profitable trans-Atlantic routes at the time yet DL was getting millions to "take a chance
" in a market deparate for a nonstop to Europe. The economy rebounded when the flight came off subsidy and DL charged monopoly fares for the monopoly they had, kept it seasonal anyway (as if their year round markets don't fall off in the winter) and pushed their off season traffic through hubs instead of running it nonstop at reasonable off season fares.
The PIT-Europe market was really DL's to lose before WW, DE, and BA showed up. My gut feeling is they got a bit greedy with the exorbitant fares and capacity restrictions. Delta has to decide if they want to be a player in the nonstop mid size city - Europe market or not. What are they gonna do when Condor or BA shows up at IND and/or CVG? When RDU gets a third trans-Atlantic flight? And make no mistake, they will get a third flight. Meanwhile British Airways, for all they knew at the time, was entering the Pittsburgh market as a fourth carrier to Europe. That's how strong they felt about the market and its potential. No, the $3 million had very little if anything to do with them deciding on PIT over other markets.
So to answer your question, IMHO no DL should not get any money to reinstate PIT-CDG. If they were so inclined to give PIT-Europe another shot then perhaps PIT-AMS would get them a new round of subsidies as it is a new destination.
The ACAA has a five year plan for airlines they would like to see. For Europe I can see it consisting of BA daily, greatly increased DE service or LH, and one low cost option such as EI to DUB. I wouldn't be surprised to see EI in 2020 or 2021.