UPDATE: Chattanooga airport to offer nonstop flights to NYC & Ch - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Chattanooga airport to offer nonstop flights to NYC & Chicago

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Photo by WRCB reporter Michelle Heron. Photo by WRCB reporter Michelle Heron.

Travelers in Chattanooga will soon be able to get to some of our nation's biggest cities easier. 

United Airlines announced Friday it's adding non-stop flights to New York City and Chicago from Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport. 

Officials say it's a plan that's been in the works for four years. 

Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport usually boards about 300,000 people each year. In 2015, they surpassed that number by 100,000 passengers. 

"We attribute that to all of the economic development that's taking place in this community and this region and we want to be part of that," Chattanooga Airport President and CEO Terry Hart said. 

That growth caught the eye of United Airlines, prompting the company to add nonstop flights to two of their largest hubs: Newark Liberty International and Chicago O'Hare. 

Hart said it's a big move for domestic and international travel. 

"Chicago O'Hare is a huge hub for United and in addition to that network in the Midwest, it also provides international connectivity to Asia and Europe. Likewise Newark has a huge international lift to Europe, so we're very excited about that opportunity," he added. 

Two flights will run daily to and from each city. The flights start in September. 

PREVIOUS STORY: The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport announced Friday that United Airlines will be providing nonstop service from Chattanooga to Newark Liberty International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Beginning September 7, 2016, United will offer two daily flights from Chattanooga to both cities on 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets. In addition, through the airline’s Star Alliance network, Chattanooga travelers will be given access to 28 airlines serving 192 countries with more than 18,000 daily departures.

"With a growing Innovation District and more economic development opportunities everyday, the addition of non-stop flights to these two major U.S. cities will be a game-changer for Chattanooga," Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said. "A lot of hard work over several years went into making this happen and I appreciate everyone who spent time ensuring Chattanooga becomes a more connected city. Starting in September, we will ensure our citizens have convenient access to some of our country's most important destinations, while inviting more people to travel here and see why Chattanooga is the best mid-sized city in America." 

Service to both the New York City area and Chicago will include same-day early morning departures and evening arrivals.

“The schedules will be very accommodating for a business traveler who needs to fly out and return the same day,” Terry Hart, Chattanooga Airport President and CEO said. “It is also imperative the community supports the new service to ensure its success.”

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