This year, American Airlines and US Airways launched new flights from Fort Wayne to Philadelphia and Charlotte, United Airlines increased its daily flights to Chicago, and Delta brought in larger CRJ’s to serve Atlanta.
Scott Hinderman, executive director of airports, Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, says: “While most mid-sized US airports are seeing a reduction in service, our airport is experiencing record-setting growth with increased flights and capacity.
“Our civic and business leaders have banded together to support new air service through an aggressive incentive programme.”
The Fort Wayne community made $2 million (€1.6 million) in incentives available in the form of a minimum revenue guarantee to the first airline to add a new nonstop route to help offset startup costs.
Airlines that establish new non-stop routes or increase service levels from Fort Wayne can also qualify for abatements on airport fees and marketing support.
John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, explains: “Our growing airport sets us apart from other mid-sized markets for businesses expanding or relocating here.
“Headquartered companieslike Steel Dynamics, Vera Bradley, Sweetwater Sound and Franklin Electric can now make day-trips to major US cities for business and enjoy the lower costs, productive workforce and high quality of life that the Fort Wayne region offers.”
Through November 2014, total enplanements, or the number of passengers boarding flights out of Fort Wayne, were 294,498, with 156 flights operating each week.
Nancy Jordan, senior vice president, individual annuity operations, Lincoln Financial Group, comments: “We’re beginning to see that the airport’s expansion is assisting with business development, attracting additional events to our city and increasing travel options for Fort Wayne residents.
“The new air service has also made it easier for our employees and business partners to travel into and out of Fort Wayne. We’re receiving favorable feedback from all of our travellers.”
Last year, Fort Wayne handled 5.44 million passengers.