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Business

American begins Cedar Rapids-Charlotte flights

Offers option for travel to East Coast, southeast U.S.

Rebecca Miller/The Gazette

Fire trucks shoot arcs of water over an American Airlines CRJ 700 regional jet departing from The Eastern Iowa Airport on Friday for Charlotte, N.C. The water canon is an aviation tradition marking inaugural flights.
Rebecca Miller/The Gazette Fire trucks shoot arcs of water over an American Airlines CRJ 700 regional jet departing from The Eastern Iowa Airport on Friday for Charlotte, N.C. The water canon is an aviation tradition marking inaugural flights.
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American Airlines on Friday launched twice daily nonstop service from The Eastern Iowa Airport to Charlotte, N.C., offering a new option for passengers traveling to the East Coast, the southeast United States or the Caribbean.

Charlotte, the airline’s second-largest hub after Dallas-Fort Worth, offers 654 daily flights to 145 destinations in 23 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe.

Flights will leave Cedar Rapids at 7 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. each day, returning from Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport at 11:40 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Timothy Lyon, managing director, North American pricing for American Airlines, said Friday that The Eastern Iowa Airport is getting the new service because of heavy passenger traffic on American routes to Chicago and Dallas.

“With that strong performance and an economy that’s growing, Cedar Rapids stood out as the next stop we should add from Charlotte,” Lyon said. “If we see the positives on this route that we’ve seen on Chicago and Dallas, the next item might be service to another American hub.”

Charlotte is the 13th nonstop destination from Cedar Rapids. The airport has direct service to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando-Sanford, Phoenix-Mesa, Punta Gorda and St. Petersburg-Tampa.

Aside from American, other airlines offering service at the airport are Allegiant, Delta, Frontier and United.

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A report delivered to the Cedar Rapids Airport Commission earlier this month by an air service consulting firm cited the Charlotte flights as an example of an air service growth opportunity.

Rhett Morgan, a director of AilevonPacific in Dallas, said The Eastern Iowa Airport with 18 percent year-over-year growth in air traffic is outpacing the national average of 13 percent.

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