American Airlines begins Duluth service
May 29, 2019 09:33AM
For the first time, Duluth has become a city having three airlines offering daily service.
On Thursday, American Airlines because the third carrier by offering two daily flights between Duluth and Chicago. It joins United Airlines, which offers three flights through Chicago, and Delta, which provides five flights to and from Minneapolis-St. Paul.
“It provides one more way for travelers to connect not only with domestic markets, but international ones,” said Anna Tanski, president and CEO of Visit Duluth. Her group and other business entities joined the Duluth International Airport Authority in promoting the local terminal to American Airlines. That effort proved to be a strong one, said Blaine Peterson, the airport’s director of operations.
“It speaks volumes about the community,” he said.
Adding American to the mix gives regional travelers “a whole new network” of destinations, said Billy Glunz, the airline’s director of government affairs. But the selection of Duluth didn’t occur before considerable research was conducted. “We’re very careful and take time in making these decisions,” he said, describing Duluth as “a good opportunity.”
American is flying an ER4 jet aircraft along the route. It features 50 seats.
Currently, about 95 percent of Duluth’s visitors drive to the city, but local officials will be watching that number during coming months to gauge how big a factor the added air service will become, said Tanski, who also is a member of the Airport Authority board.
The latest carrier growth doesn’t signal an end to Duluth’s aggressive effort to expand air service, Peterson added. The city’s six-year-old terminal has room for more, he said, and the structure was constructed to accommodate physical expansion.Along with added service, the growing array of carriers enhances competition, airport Executive Director Tom Werner said in a news release, “which helps DLH flight prices become even more competitive. If travelers in this region continue to make the commitment to fly local, it strengthens our position to attract additional flight options.”
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