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American Airlines returns to South Bend International Airport

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- 

More wheels are hitting the runway at South Bend International Airport. American Airlines is returning to the airport for the first time since 2003. 

Nonstop flights are now available to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport, two of the biggest hubs in the country.

"Those are two really large hubs and so when you fly into Dallas at 8:30 in the morning, we have the whole day to connect you onto a bunch of other cities around the globe," said Nichelle Tait with American Airlines. "So that's really exciting to say that you can go from South Bend to Iceland for example now."

The airline says it saw demand in South Bend, and is excited to be a part of the market. It will fly multiple flights to both cities every day. 

Flights will depart to Dallas/Fort Worth at 6:48 a.m. and 1:55 p.m. and return at 1:23 p.m. and 7 p.m.

For Charlotte, flights are scheduled to leave South Bend every day at 8:05 a.m. and 5:14 p.m. and return at 11:30 a.m. and 7:55 p.m.

The additional options will create ease of connection for both business and leisure travelers from South Bend, making the airport a stronger competitor to neighboring international hubs like Chicago. 

South Bend Regional Chamber President Jeff Rea says he hopes the competition will lead to better routes and better prices.

South Bend International airport has about a $1 billion economic impact on the area, and Rea says the vitality of the airport is critical for the economy. 

""People drive directly to Chicago or another airport to fly from here, we'd like that money to stay here in the local economy," he said. "We think as long as South Bend offers some great connections and great route options that people will choose to fly here locally. So adding American and adding new flights just really enhances the overall value of the airport."

There will be 65 available seats on each flight. Tickets are available for purchase here. 

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