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Northwest Introduces Direct Flights from Portland to Amsterdam

nwNorthwest Airlines will soon be connecting Portland directly with Europe, which is excellent news for travelers. Portland had been one of those cities from which it took two (and sometimes three) stops to get anywhere in Europe, so when it became possible to reach European destinations with only one layover Portlanders did a little dance. (Well, metaphorically, anyway.) Then, when European airline giant Lufthansa began offering nonstop flights from Portland to Frankfurt in 2003, Portlanders rejoiced even more. The only problem with the Lufthansa flight, after the “just opened” sales went away, was the price for a ticket. Most people I know who took one of those flights was doing so on their company’s dime.

Now, enter Northwest Airlines, which plans to begin flying non-stop from Portland to Amsterdam beginning as early as March of 2008. Northwest’s alliance with Dutch airline KLM is undoubtedly determining which European airport they’re flying into, but even if your vacation isn’t in Amsterdam this flight should be good news for you. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of Europe’s major hubs, and once there you’d be able to hop on a short flight to anywhere else in Europe (and beyond) that you wanted to go.

No one is talking prices yet, but the hope among travelers is that competition from Northwest will mean Lufthansa’s ticket prices will come down. Any way you slice it, this is pretty good news for Portlanders who like to travel to Europe – more choice is always a good thing, and it just makes the world seem that much smaller.