British Airways flight attendants celebrate the return of nonstop service between Pittsburgh and London Friday evening. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)

WATCH: Behind the Scenes – Getting Ready for BA’s Arrival

British Airways is back in Pittsburgh, connecting travelers with the world. Before the Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed at Pittsburgh International Airport for the first time since the pandemic, the airport was abuzz with behind-the-scenes preparations.

Joe Johnson is a mechanic and inspects passenger boarding bridges.

“We operate the bridge in all directions, in, out, left, right – just to make sure everything works properly,” said Johnson.

C59 is British Airways’ gate at PIT. It’s set up for larger aircraft like the Dreamliner. Field Maintenance crews at PIT re-painted the lead-in lines at the gate. Skilled trades workers at PIT, from carpenters to electricians and painters, all helped out as well. All the prep work was coordinated with British Airways — “down to what door they are going to use on the aircraft (and) how many positions they need at their counter,” said Brian Stashak, Director, Landside and Terminal Operations.

Teams at PIT did several walkthroughs in the days leading up to the flight.

“We go through the passenger journey, everything the passenger would see from where their counters are, where they will check in and all the way to the departure gate,” Stashak said.

“The entire airport has done a fantastic job to make sure Pittsburgh is ready to welcome back British Airways here, and for us to welcome folks across the world back to Pittsburgh,” said Bryan Dietz, SVP, Air Service and Commercial Development.

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