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New nonstop flights from Indy to Houston take off

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Indianapolis, which draws criticism for not offering more nonstop flights to major cities, has removed one complaint from the list.

Southwest Airlines on Sunday launched twice-daily nonstop service between Indianapolis International Airport and Houston Hobby Airport, marking the first direct flights between the two airports.

“Texas is the No. 3 destination state for Indianapolis-area travelers, while Houston offers numerous connecting options for passengers destined for points throughout the South,” said Chris Matney, air service director for the Indianapolis Airport Authority, which oversees airport operations.

Southwest flights will depart daily for Houston at 6:15 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. Daily nonstop flights will depart Houston for Indianapolis at 10:30 a.m. and 8:05 p.m.

Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce officials and local business executives have been clamoring for more nonstop flights for years. Local tech entrepreneur Scott Jones told IBJ earlier this year that, without more direct flights, Indianapolis is “stuck in the mud.”

Last month, Visit Indy officials--along with area convention planners--began making the case for more nonstop flights out of Indianapolis.

“As we’ve grown, it’s opened us up to a larger pool of convention business, but that pool increasingly prefers better air lift than Indianapolis currently has,” said Leonard Hoops, CEO of Visit Indy, the city’s tourism promotional arm.

Many U.S. cities have seen a decline in nonstop flights since 2008 as airlines have merged, jet fuel costs have skyrocketed, and routes have been either consolidated or eliminated. But Indianapolis is at the bottom of the heap compared with many cities of its size.

Airport and other city officials continue to lobby airlines for more nonstop flights, Matney said.

As of Monday, a nonstop roundtrip ticket from Indianapolis to Houston, purchased a week in advance, cost about $800.
 

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  • Perhaps not
    It may not have removed the complaint; whether one more direct flight into one more airport meets that need is up for debate. My comment addressed the issue of whether or not there were existing direct flights into Houston-Hobby Airport, which is what the article states.
  • ...
    IND-MDW didn't offer any connection opportunities on Southwest which they don't already offer via their other nonstop markets out of IND (BWI, DEN, MCI, PHX, LAS, MCO, TPA, HOU). Some of them may be a little more obscure now thogh, and it will probably become more expensive for people to fly between Chicago and Indy.
  • Ummm Haley....
    The article states "Indianapolis, which draws criticism for not offering more nonstop flights to major cities, has removed one complaint from the list." No it hasn't removed one complaint from the list since Indy already had non-stop service to that MAJOR CITY.
    • losing flights
      Has anyone asked why Southwest is dropping their non-stop flights between Indianapolis and Chicago as of 11/12/12? This makes it much more difficult to connect to a number of other cities in the Southwest system now.
      • Re-read the article
        The article does not say there have been no other direct flights between IIA and the city of Houston. It says there have been no direct flights between IIA and the Houston-Hobby Airport. My husband and I fly to Houston at least once a year and have had to fly into the Houston International Airport to get a direct flight when we would have preferred to fly into Houston-Hobby.
      • Inaccurate
        United has Several direct flights (serviced by Sky West?) between Indy and Houston.
      • Wrong
        Depending on the day United currently offers either four or five non-stop flights to Houston Intercontinental daily.
      • houston flights
        Your article is inaccurate. When I traveled extensively in the 80s and 90s, Continental had a direct flight to HOuston every weekday. You might want to check your facts.

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