New Flights Introduced

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BOONE COUNTY - Columbia Regional Airport's new flights to and from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport go into effect Wednesday morning. 

The new American Airlines flight departs Columbia at 6 a.m., arriving in Chicago just past seven.  There is an additional return flight that leaves O'Hare at 6:35 p.m. and arrives in Columbia at 7:50.

In the past, travellers commuting between Columbia and Chicago only had one flight choice per day from each city.  The flight from Chicago left at 11:30 a.m. with an arrival of 12:40 p.m. at Columbia Regional.  The airline's second flight then departed from Columbia at 1:05 p.m and arrived at O'Hare at 2:15.

The decision to add an additional flight from each city stemmed from a Missouri Department of Transportation study which said the airport generated about 87 million dollars of economic activity for the city through its flights to Chicago and Dallas.

Columbia Public Works officials said the new routes will offer greater flexibility for business travelers, many of whom found the mid-day flights difficult to schedule.  The new flights will operate on a daily basis, and officials from both the city and American Airlines will hold a brief ceremony Wednesday in the main terminal at 11:30 a.m to commemorate the new route.