Flying from Baltimore to the Great White North will become one step easier when Air Ontario inaugurates non-stop service from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Toronto July 6, state officials announced yesterday.
The new seven-day-a-week service follows the March announcement by Israel's El Al airline that it would offer connecting service via North American Airlines from BWI to New York and on to Tel Aviv beginning June 22.
The airline said it plans to petition the U.S. Department of Transportation for direct flights after the feeder service begins.
Travelers to Canada are already served by USAir, BWI's largest carrier, which increased its international service in the past few years by adding routes to Montreal and Ottawa.
Last month, USAir received government approval to fly daily to London, taking over a route operated by Trans World Airlines.
"Air Ontario joins the growing list of international carriers at BWI," Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who is traveling in Europe, said in a statement.
In fact, Air Ontario becomes the 12th international carrier to offer service from BWI. The company is part of the Air Canada Connector system, which flies to 17 destinations in the United States and Canada. The airline initially will fly three round trips during the week out of BWI and two round-trip flights a day on weekends, state officials said.
International passenger traffic has become increasingly important at BWI. It grew 77 percent in 1990 and 1991 and was up 29 percent in the first quarter of 1992, according to Maryland Aviation Administrator Ted Mathison.
By contrast, the number of domestic air passengers declined 5.4 percent, and domestic freight traffic was down 7.5 percent. The total number of passengers was down 3.2 percent for 1991, and total cargo was down 3.9 percent.
Along with the new carriers announced this spring, BWI has added three foreign carriers -- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Icelandair and Ladeco Chilean Airlines -- in the past two years.