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China to Pittsburgh flights delayed until next summer |

China to Pittsburgh flights delayed until next summer

Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Marina Lane, 6, of Charlestown, N.H., left, and Gabrielle Wheeler, 13, of Dudley, Mass., wait for a flight in Pittsburgh International Airport. (Trib Photo)

Pittsburgh International Airport officials on Friday said charter flights to and from China that were slated to start this year will be postponed until next summer.

The delay will give Chinese tourism company Caissa Touristic more time to promote and sell tickets for the flight, said Bob Kerlik, an airport spokesman. The company hasn’t started to sell tickets.

The airport announced the flight in March after Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis and other officials traveled to China to meet with airlines and tour operators.

An agreement with Caissa Touristic hasn’t been signed. Such an agreement would determine the destination or destinations in China the flights would serve, the frequency of the flights, whether any incentives would be provided, and other details.

It won’t be signed until service dates for next year are determined, Kerlik said.

The company plans to sell tickets for those interested in nonstop service to China on the return flights.

Officials want the charter flights to lead to regular service between Pittsburgh and China.

The airport also announced passenger numbers Friday.

In June, 832,781 people traveled through the airport compared to 780,863 last year — a 6.6 percent increase and the airport’s busiest June since 2007, according to an airport news release.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, [email protected] or via Twitter @tclift.

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