La Crosse, Wis. (WXOW) – Air travelers in La Crosse will officially be able to head to Detroit directly.
“This is just really a culmination of many efforts,” Mayor Tim Kabat said.
A daily nonstop flight to Detroit Metro Airport has been in LSE’s sights for the past four years. In late summer this year, a $750,000 federal grant helped sealed the deal.
“The grant helps put our airport on top of the list,” Airport Director Clinton Torp said.
Through Delta Airlines, the new nonstop flight connects to one of the country’s biggest hubs.
“That will provide additional connectivity into La Crosse and hopefully drive those passengers to fly directly [here] rather than a competing airport.”
One of the biggest pushes for the new flight came from La Crosse area businesses. La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Vicki Markussen spoke at Tuesday’s press event.
“For those that are going global, the big concern is always am I going to make that international connection?” Markussen said. “Because if you miss it, it will delay meetings, it will change itineraries… Having another option just expands our access to global markets.”
The same notion has university officials like UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow excited about potential growth.
“When people are looking at a university, and maybe they live in another country or another part of our country, they’ll say well how easy is it for me to get there?” Gow said. “If it’s difficult, they might not come to join us. If we have a nice link like this, that’s going to make a world of difference.”
It’s just one new flight, but Torp hopes it could be the first of many.
“If we fill these planes up, we will have the opportunity to add additional capacity and that’s really what it’s about,” Torp said.
Daily flights begin in March of 2019. Bookings for those flights are currently available at Delta Airline’s website.