With 43 nonstop flights, Indianapolis International Airport now has more direct destinations than at any time in the last decade. Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez wants to grow that number and has a high-profile destination on his list. "We’ve started conversations with our airline partners for a direct flight into London Heathrow," said Rodriguez on Inside INdiana Business Television. He admits, it could take 18 months to two years to land the transatlantic route.
"At this point we have about 48 passengers going to London through hubs and it will take a little while to develop the sorts of relationships we need with British Airways and American Airlines,” said Rodriguez.
For months, airport officials have been working closely with the business community and organizations including the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Indy Chamber in an effort to increase nonstop service.
The effort seems to be paying dividends.
Since early 2014, nearly two dozen nonstop flights have been added, including popular business destinations like New York, San Francisco and Boston. Seattle, San Diego and Austin, Texas are among destinations targeted for future connections.
The Indy airport chief anticipates adding “a lot of new direct destinations” in 2016, noting an already announced nonstop to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Officials are also eyeing nonstop service to Savannah, Georgia.
"The challenge is over," said Rodriguez, referring to longstanding complaints from the business community and leisure travelers about a scarcity of direct connections that many feel have hampered business attraction and expansion efforts.