Atlantic City Officials Look For European Air Connection

At a recent business forum in Atlantic City, casino industry leaders proposed positioning the resort as a jumping off point for European travelers visiting the U.S. Officials for Atlantic City International Airport are already in talks with European air carriers.

Before a European tourist head to New York or Philadelphia, they could spend a couple of nights in Atlantic City.

That’s the hope of Atlantic City leaders hoping to position the resort as a jumping off spot for European tourists visiting the states through charter flights to Atlantic City International Airport.

Speaking at a business forum, panelists from the casino industry, city government and the airport said Europe offers the city a chance at being a gateway for European tourists.

Officials said European tourists flying to Atlantic City could stay for a night or two before moving on to other destinations to take advantage of the resort’s cheaper hotel rates and attractions. Stops in the resort could also be packaged with trips to major U.S. cities. Atlantic City could also try to position itself as a spot for international business meetings.

“I think the European connection makes a whole lot of sense,” Atlantic City Mayor Donald Guardian said. “We do want to expand our market. We do want to expand our business. We think we can expand the market in Atlantic City to more and more people.”

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that manages Atlantic City International, has already begun talks with European airlines, airport officials said, including, a British discount carrier that offers travel packages from the United Kingdom to New York through Newark Liberty International Airport.

“That’s exactly the type of airline for this market,” said E.J. Mullins, the Port Authority’s program director for Atlantic City International.

Mullins, however, said there is not enough European tourist traffic to generate daily flights, but said weekly international charter service could work.