ILM, passengers welcome new airline set to begin services to two major hubs

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  Our nation’s capitol and the Windy City are the latest cities people here in the Cape Fear can connect to. The Wilmington International Airport announced a new major airline is coming to town.

Four new flights a day as well as at least a hundred passengers will be coming to ILM as the airline gets set to launch here in April.

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“To be able to fly out of here direct, I think it will be great for Wilmington,” said passenger Sue Paul.

ILM passengers will have more options come spring of 2018.

“We have a new major airline that is announcing scheduled service to our airport,” said Airport Authority Chairman Carter Lambeth in an afternoon news conference.

That airline being United who will begin new non stop flights from Wilmington to Chicago-O’Hare and Washington-Dulles airports.

Parents like Paul remember the headaches of trying to get to one of those airports.

“I pretty much the last three years had to fly out to Chicago to visit my daughter who lived there,” Paul said. “I always had to go to Raleigh then fly out to Raleigh into Charlotte.”

It’s taken more than four years to make this happen.

“It’s been coming for a long time, they say a growing airport is the sign of a growing community,” Airport Director Julie Wilsey said.

Airport officials are hopeful these new routes will help the businesses locally and those looking to do business in the Cape Fear.

“We have a lot of partners that might have gone to a connecting hub elsewhere,” Wilsey said. “Now they’re going to go non stop so think of the time that’s saved for those business travelers.”

It’s that business travel alongside the expected increase in passenger travel that also has leaders in the Wilmington business community excited for the new addition.

“That’s another positive impression that we are able to make about the Wilmington region,” said Billy King who heads Wilmington Business Development. “So we look forward to touting that new information all the clients we work with.”