The executive director of the Indianapolis International Airport Authority says the business and technology communities have played a key role in landing more high-profile nonstop routes. Mario Rodriguez says input from tech leaders was a "main consideration" when it came to agreements to fly to Austin-Bergstrom International, announced Tuesday morning, as well as previously-secured nonstops to Seattle-Tacoma International and San Francisco International. Over the last week three new routes to Austin, San Diego and Destin-Fort Walton Beach have pushed IND to 46 nonstop destinations, a historical high water mark.
Rodriguez says there is also a continued focus on more international flights. He tells Inside INdiana Business officials have already met multiple times with United Airlines and new talks are slated for the middle of the year with British Airways on a long-pursued nonstop to London’s Heathrow Airport. He says the process for reaching an agreement on a new international flight can take two or three years.
Rodriguez says the seeds of the influx of nonstop flights were sown some time ago. "It takes a little while to meet with the airlines, to get them focused on it and to make sure that they understand that it’s a profitable route," Rodriguez says. "The airlines would not be flying here if it wasn’t profitable." He adds that very few airlines are currently looking to add routes, so new destinations must come from an existing, competitive pool of flights that are already in place.
Indianapolis International Airport Executive Director Mario Rodriguez says the eyes of officials and customers alike continue to be fixed on more international flights.