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Airlines increase their nonstop services as the New Orleans market continues to expand.

As the tourism columnist for Biz New Orleans and an avid traveler; it is exciting to see an increase in airline carriers investing in and committing to the New Orleans market by offering more direct flights to strategically located hubs, both nationally and abroad.

PEOLPLExpress, the latest carrier to expand into the New Orleans market, now offers nonstop flights out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to Newport News/Williamsburg, Virginia. The inaugurated flight took off on August 28, and will operate twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Branding themselves as a low cost a la carte service model airline – PEOPLExpress flights, which are operated by Vision Airlines, launched on June 30, 2014. 

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Travelers currently have the convenience of 41 direct flight destinations from Louis Armstrong New Orleans – which depending on the time of year – links New Orleans to three international markets; Mexico, Jamaica and Canada, and 38 cities within the United States.

Within the past six months, five airlines have announced direct flights that service the New Orleans market. Southwest Airlines introduced a direct flight to San Diego, Calif. in April. Vacation Express (one of the largest tour operators in the southeast United States) begun their seasonal nonstop flights to Montego Bay, Jamaica during May, and Alaska Airlines started their nonstop daily flight to Seattle, Wash. in June.

Spirit Airlines recently announced that they too plan to expand their services to the New Orleans market – their daily direct flights to Chicago and Detroit will start during the fall of this year.

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These expanded services are reacting to the increase in visitors to New Orleans.

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport passenger statistics states that as of July 2014, over 5.7 million visitors have come through the airport since January; an increase of 4.8 percent from July 2013. If these numbers continue to top previous years, then we should expect to keep seeing more and more airlines expanding to service the needs of the growing New Orleans market.

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