National News

Expansions at Nashville Airport could lead to more nonstop international flights

Posted June 16

— It's been 22 years since Nashville International Airport offered non-stop service to Europe, and officials with the Nashville Aiport Authority hope that will change soon.

Construction is underway to upgrade and improve BNA's international arrival gates. It's part of the Airport Authority's five-to-six-year vision plan for the Nashville Airport, which includes a new parking structure and renovated terminal.

Non-stop service to Cancun, Mexico, and Calgary, Canada, were announced earlier this year.

The Airport Authority's Vice President of Communications Tom Jurkovich says he is anticipating nonstop flights to Europe and Asia within the next few years.

Currently, British Airways offers non-stop service from London to Tampa, Austin, New Orleans and San Diego, all cities with airports of similar size to Nashville.

"We anticipate -- whether it's this year, next year or years to come, there's going to be non-stop service to Europe," Jurkovich says.

"Most likely London to start with, and there will be non-stop service to Asia, most likely Tokyo to start with."

If that happens, it won't be the first time Nashville will have direct flights outside of North America.

Back in the 1980s, American Airlines offered nonstop international flights from Nashville to London and Toronto, which was a big attractor for large companies like Nissan and Saturn to build hubs here.

However, American's service peaked in 1992, and they began decreasing flights. They eventually closed the hub in 1995 and subleased it to Southwest Airlines.

Copyright 2017 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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