A new airline is coming to the Indianapolis International Airport. Tennessee-based Contour Airlines has announced plans to establish an aircraft base at the airport with three new domestic routes, and create up to 55 jobs by the end of 2023.
The announcement was made Wednesday during the 2020 Routes Americas conference in downtown Indianapolis.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Contour is investing “a significant amount” to establish the new base, though a specific figure was not provided. The airline expects to launch its Indy operations in June with the new routes to Nashville, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
“Contour’s investment is a win-win all the way around,” said Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. “Travelers have been demanding drive-market destinations, and we’ve been working for years to bring these to Indy and expand both business and leisure nonstop connectivity regionally. Jobs, a new record-breaking number of nonstop flights, and further proof you can get there from here! That’s a win for everybody.”
Contour is acquiring additional ERJ-135/145 aircraft, two of which will initially be housed at the Indy airport. The airline also plans to immediately begin hiring pilots, flight attendants, customer service agents, mechanics and ground personnel. Contour employs about 380 people throughout the country.
“Indiana is a natural fit for Contour Airline’s growth,” said Matt Chaifetz, chief executive officer of Contour. “We look forward to employing Hoosiers and bringing Indy travelers nonstop service to key business and leisure markets.”
The daily service to Nashville International Airport, St. Louis Lambert International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport brings the Indy airport’s total of nonstop destinations to a new high of 53. Contour says it expects to expand its service to and from the Indy airport and offer more nonstop routes in the future.
The IEDC has offered Contour Airlines up to $1.5 million in a Minimum Revenue Guarantee, which means the company will only receive funds if it does not meet its minimum revenue targets for the routes. The airline has also been offered up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits, which it will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs.