United Airlines has announces daily flights to Atlantic City starting this spring. While local travelers say it's great to have easy access to more destinations, tourism officials hope South Jersey becomes a bigger destination itself, for a wider base of potential customers.
“That's wonderful.” Pearl Koteles is thrilled to hear United Airlines will soon offer service out of Atlantic City International Airport - where she and many others prefer to fly out of when traveling. “It's just more convenient here,” said the New Gretna resident, who had just returned from Florida, “it just so much more convenient.”
“I think it's a good thing,” said Michael Calogero of Egg Harbor Township, “I mean I’ve flown across country a couple of times and it's just a lot more convenient not having to go to Philly.”
The non-stop service to Chicago and Houston was announced Thursday morning at Newark Liberty International Airport, where United operates the region's largest airline hub. “This is an investment in our home state,” said Chairman, CEO, and President of United Airlines Jeff Smisek, “this is an investment in South Jersey, this is an investment in the people who support United Airlines.”
“I’m pleased to be a part of the team that's going to be able to bring that enhanced service to the people of South Jersey and Atlantic City,” said Governor Chris Christie, “and all those folks who want to visit Atlantic City.”
While travelers say it's great to have easy access to more destinations, officials say the service will also allow easier access to South Jersey for a wider base of potential customers. “This really does help us get to the larger goal, which is getting more visitors and convention attendees to come to Atlantic City,” said Jeff Guaracino, Chief Strategy Officer with the Atlantic City Alliance.
Many feel the addition of United's flights to two of the country's busiest airports means people from across the country and beyond can now consider Atlantic City for both business and pleasure. “It's a step in the right direction,” said Guaracino, “by having United Airlines, by having more people take a fresh look at Atlantic City, what I think this is another stepping stone, milestone, in the revitalization and new trajectory for Atlantic City.
ACY is now operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. United Express carrier, ExpressJet will operate the Atlantic City flights with a 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft.
From Chicago, United’s flight to ACY will depart at 8:10a.m. daily, arriving at 11:17 a.m. The return flight will depart ACY at 11:52 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 1:10 p.m.
From Houston, United’s flight to ACY will depart at 7 p.m. daily, arriving at 11:20 p.m. The return flight will depart ACY at 6 a.m. and arrive in Houston at 8:49a.m.
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