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COLUMBIA- American Airlines is no longer the only air carrier in town.

United Airlines flights will start flying out of Columbia on Tuesday, with service to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

United will also charter daily flights to Denver International Airport, a first for Columbia Regional, with that service starting Wednesday.

With the new destination, Columbia Regional Airport now services flights to and from Chicago, Dallas, and Denver. This means mid-Missouri has direct access to three of the five megahub airports in the country. 

The mile-high city was one of the most requested destinations for frequent airport users. 

Airport manager Mike Parks said the airport added Denver as a destination to better serve the demand in mid-Missouri. 

"We're always looking at additional destinations for the airport," Parks said. "We listen to the customers here in Mid-Missouri and we talk to airlines and our current tenants about what opportunities we have to add more destinations."

The plan to add United's services to Columbia Regional was announced in a press release this past February. 

In that release the airport announced an 85 percent growth in demand for flights arriving and departing from Columbia Regional since 2010. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the first flight to Denver will be held Wednesday afternoon. 

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