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Ready for Takeoff: American Airlines Launches First Flight Out of Duluth

Taylor Holt
Updated: May 23, 2019 05:27 PM

A new flight to Chicago is officially ready for takeoff. Thursday, American Airlines launched their first of what will be two daily flights between Duluth's International Airport and the Windy City. 

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The flight came in around noon, and was welcomed with a round of applause and a water salute. Shortly after at 12:30 p.m., the flight was Chicago bound with an 80% full plane.

Tickets for the new service went on sale back in January, when the new additions were announced. A representative with the airline says they have been happy with sales. The partnership that was celebrated Thursday will bring an additional two direct daily flights to Chicago's O'Hare Airport and connecting travelers to destinations around the world. American Airlines Director of Government Affairs says that's a big deal for them and the Duluth economy.

"This adds not just Duluth to Chicago, but adds to 260 destinations out of Chicago. We launched service to Greece earlier this year so Duluth is one stop from a trip to Greece so whether it's tourism or business, it just adds to Duluth's connectivity and bringing more customers in America and adding a lot of new competition into the Duluth market," said the airport's Director of Operations.

Blaine Peterson, American Airlines Director of Government Affairs, says the demand for more flights has been high and that this will bring positive impacts for the economy. 
"This will be another opportunity. It's going to show the rest of the nation that Duluth has an opportunity to continue to grow, and offer other alternate destinations and that's definitely the goal of any airport is to offer alternate destinations," said Peterson.
 
The flights utilize the ER4 aircraft, designed for short-haul domestic segments and featuring 50 seats. The airport now has three major commercial airlines and both officials for the airport and airline say this will only open the door for more expansion in the future.

As far as fares, an airline official says flight prices depend on certain variables, but that the new flight prices are pretty compatible to their United Airlines flights. They did say since getting the new service many of their flight prices have been able to go down a couple hundred dollars. 

Credits

Taylor Holt

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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