South Bend International Airport announced this morning the addition of direct flights to metro New York City. The first flight will depart Newark’s Liberty International Airport to South Bend on October 26. The first departure from South Bend to New York will take place the next day. Ticket sales began immediately.
Regional carrier Express Jet will operate the flights under the United Airlines banner. A regional jet carrying a maximum of 50 passengers will be utilized. The flight will take approximately two hours.
Airport officials have sought a direct flight to the nation’s largest metro area for several years. Local leaders argue that the connection could potentially bring new business to the region and have an economic impact of several million dollars.
“South Bend Airport is a key economic driver of our local economy,” St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners President Andrew Kostielney said at the announcement. “[The airport] generates close to $1.7 billion dollars annually and the hope is, with fifteen thousand more seats available, that will bring in an additional fifty million dollars each year.”
Newark Liberty International Airport is a 30 minute drive from Lower Manhattan, depending on traffic.