COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
City officials hope a federal grant will help entice a carrier to provide flights from the Columbia Regional Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the city an $800,000 grant to help provide a revenue guarantee and marketing support for proposed nonstop daily American Airlines flights to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the city said in a news release.
The money is on top of $310,000 in local commitments to the guarantee and marking fund. The University of Missouri has pledged $80,000, the Missouri Department of Transportation has set aside $150,000 and the airport has pledged $80,000 in marketing assistance, the city says.
The money would help provide revenue for American Airlines in the case of slow ticket sales and pay for marketing the flights.
"Expanded air service to Charlotte means enhanced connections throughout the eastern U.S. which brings new and exciting economic and travel opportunities to mid Missouri," Mayor Brian Treece said in the news release.
The city says Charlotte is among the top requests for new destinations made by Columbia Regional Airport passengers or those who might use the airport.
The Charlotte airport is an American Airlines hub for the eastern U.S. and the Southeast, according to the release, and a secondary hub to Caribbean destinations.
The city in 2018 said United Airlines used its full $600,000 guarantee fund in the first year of its flight to Denver from the Columbia airport. In 2013, American Airlines used about $22,000 of a $3 million revenue guarantee fund to establish flights to Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth.