Regional airline to add base, new nonstop routes at Indianapolis International Airport

Regional carrier Contour Airlines plans to establish an aircraft base at Indianapolis International Airport, where it will hire up to 55 people by the end of 2023, the company and economic development officials announced Wednesday morning.

Along with the base, Smyrna, Tennessee-based Contour plans to launch three daily nonstop regional routes—to Nashville International Airport, St. Louis Lambert International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport.

Contour plans to serve the Indianapolis market with its fleet of 30-seat ERJ-135/145 aircraft, with two of those housed at the Indianapolis base. The airline expects to launch operations at the airport on June 10.

The airline said it plans to immediately begin hiring pilots, flight attendants, customer service agents, mechanics and ground personnel to support the operations.

The Indianapolis Economic Development Corp. said Contour will spend a “significant amount” to open the base but did not provide a specific figure.

The IEDC said it offered Corporate Flight Management Inc., which does business as Contour Airlines, up to $1.5 million in the form of a “minimum revenue guarantee.” The company won’t collect that money unless it fails to meet revenue targets for its routes.

The IEDC also offered the company up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits based on the job-creation plans.

Contour, founded in 2016, employs 380 and offers service to 18 cities in the United States.

Indianapolis will be considered one of the airline’s “focus cities,” joining Santa Barbara, California, as the only two destinations from which Contour operates multiple nonstop routes.

Officials said the Indianapolis airport will offer nonstop service to 53 destinations after Contour launches its routes, an all-time high.

“Contour Airlines landing in Indiana is a huge win for the Hoosier state, and we’re extremely grateful that Contour is providing more career opportunities for Hoosiers,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in written comments. “As our pro-business reputation continues to spread around the country and around the world, new nonstop flights provide a critical link in connecting Hoosier companies, residents and tourists to destinations around the world.”

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