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SOUTH BEND — This summer South Bend International Airport will add a fourth airline and provide twice daily direct flights to Charlotte, N.C. and Dallas.
Local and airport officials were joined Thursday by Gov. Eric Holcomb to announce that American Airlines service direct from South Bend to Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport will begin June 7. Both destinations will have flights twice daily to and from South Bend International.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport pre-empted Thursday’s announcement with a morning tweet stating the new flight route.
Currently, the airport provides non-stop flights to 10 American cities through Allegiant, Delta and United airlines. The addition of American and its two new cities is expected to generate $20 million a year in revenue for the local economy, according to South Bend Regional Chamber CEO Jeff Rea.
In order to attract the Dallas/Fort Worth routes, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the St. Joseph County Airport Authority pledged $750,000 each to American Airlines, to be paid out over the span of two years.
“The coin of the realm is connectivity,” said South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “This (addition) is positioning us to compete in the years ahead.”
Holcomb said the new routes are part of the state’s push to stir economic growth and attract and retain talent.
“Today is one of those that truly does remind us that not even the sky is the limit,” Holcomb said.
The new routes will create 93,000 new seats in flights from South Bend.
According to Thursday's announcement, flights will depart daily from South Bend to Dallas/Fort Worth at 7 a.m. and 2:09 p.m. and return at 4:13 and 9:53 p.m. Flights to Charlotte will leave South Bend daily at 8:30 a.m. and 5:05 p.m. returning at 1:25 and 9:40 p.m.
The flights will be operated by American Eagle using CRJ-700 regional jet aircraft with dual-class cabins and 64 seats. Tickets can be purchased staring Jan. 22 at www.aa.com.
Other non-stop flight destinations currently offered out of South Bend include Atlanta; Chicago; Detroit; Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Fla.; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; New York City/Newark; Orlando/Sanford, Fla., Phoenix/Mesa; and Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, Fla.
This article was written by Caleb Bauer of the South Bend Tribune and published on Jan 19, 2018.