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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE American Airlines begins new, non-stop service between Springfield and Charlotte-Douglas International Airport beginning Nov. 5. Tickets go on sale July 5. This new service gives the Springfield airport 11 non-stop destinations. The average number of non-stop destinations, for cities similar to Springfield, is eight. “This new service is great news for the community and region,” says Charlotte Hardin, chair of the airport’s governing board. “It gives Springfield customers access to American’s second largest hub in North America, when measured by departing seats. Access to Charlotte offers Springfield customers a world of possibilities.” Right now Springfield airport customers generally fly through Chicago or Atlanta to reach Northeast destinations. The new American service to Charlotte gives customers another option. New York City, Philadelphia, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, D.C. These are just some of the cities now available to Springfield through American’s Charlotte hub. American’s connecting flights from Charlotte also allow for outstanding international connectivity to many of Springfield’s top international destinations, including London, Frankfurt, Paris, Rome, Dublin and Madrid. Connecting flights to the Caribbean, and Latin American destinations such as Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, and Brazil are available as well. “Support from the business community and our congressional delegation helped make this new service a reality,” says Brian Weiler, airport director. “Before starting new service one of the things airlines look for is business support and interest from lawmakers. I want to thank Sen. Claire McCaskill, Sen. Roy Blunt, and Congressman Billy Long, along with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and its economic development arm, the Springfield Business Development Corporation (SBDC).” “Today’s announcement is about progress toward becoming an even better place to do business,” says Tom Rankin, with Rankin Development and board president of the SBDC. “With connections to Charlotte new economic opportunities open up. We are convinced that our business community will continue to respond to these opportunities by filling nearly every plane that comes in and goes out of our airport.” The addition of Charlotte service gives the airport an average of 25 daily departures, flying to five major hub airports: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, and Denver. The new Charlotte service will increase the number of airline seats in the market by 36,000 annually. “Springfield and American have a long relationship. It began in 1946 and has endured for 69-years. It continues to grow,” says Hardin. “In the aftermath of the recession passenger growth at Springfield is unusually strong — we’ve had 17 straight months of passenger growth. We view the new American service as a vote of confidence in Springfield and Southwest Missouri.” Tickets for the new Springfield-Charlotte route go on sale this Sunday at aa.com.