Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

July 12, 2013

American Airlines explores Dallas-Traverse City connection

TRAVERSE CITY — An American Airlines executive touched down in Traverse City this week to explore the potential for a direct flight from northern Michigan to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

A direct flight between the Cherry Capital and the city known as the ‘Big D’ would continue Traverse City’s recent expansion of its aviation links to some of the nation’s largest airline hubs, big news for the region’s business travelers.

“We are taking a look to see if maybe we can provide a direct flight in from Dallas to Traverse City,” Paige Teel, business development director for American, told the Record-Eagle this week. “I don’t know yet. I’m really up here on a bit of a fact-finding mission to see if that’s something the community wants. The time frame would be the summer of next year.”

Cherry Capital Airport’s stock clearly seems to be rising in the eyes of major airlines, especially regarding summer travel. Delta Airlines announced in June they are doubling their number of weekly summer flights between Traverse City and Atlanta, an international travel hub. United Airlines is now offering peak season service between Cleveland and Traverse City on Saturdays. United also said it will offer seasonal service to and from Newark Liberty International Airport through Cherry Capital Airport starting this month.

“The airlines see the new things happening here – from new businesses, to bigger festivals to Horse Shows by the Bay,” said Cherry Capital Airport Director Kevin Klein. “We’ve invited them to come first-hand to see the community, meet with the community and regional business managers, and to take a look.”

Klein said “Texas is a big market for us,” and that the airport approached American because “we want to make sure we are one of the cities they are looking at for their new airplanes.”

Teel said no time frame has been set on a decision and “there’s a lot of work to do on our side.”

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