Delta Air Lines expanding service by 20% at Mitchell International Airport

CREATED Apr 23, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- While Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport is facing airline cuts, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is looking to expand their services in Milwaukee this summer.

Rich Rovito of the Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Delta Air Lines will increase their business at Mitchell International by 20%, including four daily non-stop flights from Mitchell International to NY-LaGuardia Airport starting this July.  Rovito added that a NY-JFK's Airport and Mitchell International daily non-stop flight will start in June.

Rovito told Wisconsin's Afternoon News on Newsradio 620 WTMJ that business experts around Milwaukee say these expansions are great news.  Experts argued the flights to New York will allow more Milwaukee international travelers to fly out of Mitchell International, instead of having to travel down to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to fly to New York, then travel overseas.

According to Rovito, Delta Air Lines has been paying attention to Mitchell International for quite some time before making this investment -- which will also see new flights between Mitchell International and Detroit as well as increased Milwaukee to Atlanta routes.

Mitchell International is seeing a shift in airline market share, as Southwest Airlines merged with AirTran Airways back in May, 2011 and experts at the time believed it would be a net gain for Milwaukee travelers.

Rovito said that merger is expected to take a few years to hammer out, but when it is officially recognized as one company, they will have over 50% of Mitchell International Airport's market share.

Unlike other airports like Cincinnati, argued Rovito, Milwaukee isn't expected to see higher fares because of an airline dominating the market share.  He said that business experts currently aren't afraid of higher prices, because AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines market themselves as discount airlines with no bag fees.