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Air Canada, Condor flights mark uptick in international travel

Condor ribbon cuttingMSP Airport (MSP) took on a more international flavor Wednesday (June 1) as Air Canada launched a new daily, year-round route between MSP and Montreal and Condor Airlines resumed its seasonal nonstop flights to Frankfurt, Germany, after a two-year hiatus.

The MAC hosted ribbon-cutting ceremonies at both events in yet another sign that airline travel is returning to MSP.

Although international travel has been slow to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, its return was evident Wednesday. MAC Chair Rick King began his opening remarks in French at the Air Canada celebration and in German for the Condor event.

German is the most common ethnicity of the people living in Minnesota and French voyageurs were the first European explorers to visit this area – a fact noted by Ariel Delouya, the consul general for the Consulate General of Canada office in Minneapolis.

Air Canada began the daily, year-round route between MSP and Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) on June 2 using 76-seat CRJ-900 aircraft. This will be Air Canada's second destination from MSP. It's currently operating daily service to Toronto (YYZ).

Pre-pandemic, about 17,000 people traveled between MSP and YUL annually. Air Canada operates out of Terminal 1, in Concourse E.

Condor Airlines
At the Condor event, there was also a lot of enthusiasm for the resumption of international travel. There was a long line of travelers at the Condor ticketing counter at Terminal 2 for the first flight to Frankfurt, which is a gateway to 150 destinations throughout Europe.

Lubbert Kruizenga, president of the Minnesota chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce, said there is a lot of pent-up demand for travel on both sides of the Atlantic – a fact he felt personally as soon as he shared the news about Condor's return to MSP.

"The second we heard about the news that Condor was coming back I sent the news to friends and family in Germany and within a week 13 people replied that they're coming out (to Minnesota)," said Kruizenga. "It's a revolving door at our house, but it's going to be good to see everybody again."

Condor will operate flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays departing MSP at 6:45 p.m. on a Boeing 767-300 aircraft that features three classes of service (Economy, Premium and Business). Passenger demand from the MSP market to Frankfurt (FRA) is approximately 16,000 passengers per year.