TRAVERSE CITY — Cherry Capital Airport’s direct link to the Big Apple is secure for another summer travel season.
United Airlines announced Monday it will continue direct flights to and from Traverse City to its New York hub at Newark Liberty Airport this summer. The announcement is great news for northern Michigan’s economy, said Cherry Capital Airport Director Kevin Klein.
“It shows United is committed to the market,” Klein said. “It’s important because they are returning the summer seasonal service, but they are also announcing it now, during the first part of year … which gives our travelers a chance to book early.”
The service to Traverse City from Newark, N.J., begins July 4, in time for the National Cherry Festival. Future flights will depart from Traverse City each Saturday at 9 a.m. The return service continues each Sunday with a New York-Newark departure to Traverse City at 1:55 p.m.
Newark is an important destination for Cherry Capital because it gives travelers more access to both international flights and East Coast destinations, Klein said.
“For travelers headed to places like Boston and Washington, D.C., even the Carolinas, that travel funnels easier through Newark than it does Chicago,” he said. “It means more seats. It’s a good opportunity for us all around.”
Traverse City’s airport has benefited from solid growth in recent years, with airlines offering more summer flights to accommodate visitors to the Grand Traverse region. Delta Airlines recently doubled the number of weekly summer flights between Traverse City and Atlanta, an international travel hub. United Airlines offered peak season service between Cleveland and Traverse City on Saturdays.
Airport officials are waiting to hear whether the Cleveland connection will continue in the coming summer.
American Airlines is also exploring the potential for a direct flight from northern Michigan to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.