INDIANAPOLIS — In a victory for Gov. Eric Holcomb and businesses leaders across the state, Indianapolis has secured its first year-round nonstop flight to Europe.
Beginning May 24, 2018, Delta Air Lines will fly the from Indianapolis International Airport to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The flight will be scheduled at least three times a week with more flights in the spring, summer and fall. Daily flights are planned during the peak summer season.
“Indiana’s pro-business reputation continues to grow and spread around the globe, and that’s why securing a direct transatlantic flight is so important,” Holcomb said in a statement after the announcement Wednesday.
During the 2017 legislative session, Holcomb pushed for funding to help encourage more direct flights. Lawmakers gave the governor $15 million each year for economic projects such as direct flights.
Indiana is home to more than 800 foreign-owned businesses, which employ 190,900 Hoosiers. Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar was one of many business leaders who supported more funding for direct flights. He said the new flight to Paris will make traveling to subsidiaries, parent companies and clients easier.
“It also reinforces the image that Indiana is a global player for business,” he said in a statement. “The state has established itself as a leader on this important stage, particularly over the last decade-plus. Now, we have the direct air connections to support that status.”
Each day 310 people travel from Indianapolis to transatlantic destinations. The Indianapolis Airport Authority predicts the nonstop flight will have a $50 million annual impact on Indiana’s economy.
Including this new flight, the Indianapolis International Airport has 48 nonstop destinations.
Tickets go on sale Sept. 23. The flight is scheduled to depart Indianapolis at 6:20 p.m. and arrive in Paris at 8:45 a.m. the next day. Additionally, a flight will depart Paris at 1:15 p.m. and arrive in Indianapolis at 4:35 p.m.
To help support the new route and ensure its long-term success, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has offered Delta Air Lines up to $5.5 million in conditional incentives over two years based on the company’s commitment to operate regularly-scheduled nonstop flights between the two airports. The incentives, which are subject to approval of the IEDC Board, will be awarded based on the number of passengers served by the route over the next two years, and, similar to other IEDC incentives, will not be awarded to the airline until service for passengers is provided.
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