This article was originally published on TimesFreePress.com.
Chattanooga will add new daily nonstop air service to Philadelphia starting next May on American Airlines, giving fliers more connections to the Northeast, Canada and international destinations.
Terry Hart, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport’s chief executive officer, said he expects the airline to offer one flight daily between the city and Philadelphia International Airport starting May 3.
Hart said he didn’t know the times of the flights yet, but those may be loaded into American’s reservation system as soon as this weekend. He said he believes the flights will be the first time that Chattanooga has had nonstops to Philadelphia.
American is expected to use 50-seat Embraer 175 aircraft, according to airport officials.
Chellie Cameron, the Philadelphia airport’s chief executive, said American continues to add more cities there. In addition to Chattanooga, it’s also putting in nonstops to Asheville, N.C.
“We are pleased to welcome Asheville and Chattanooga to our growing nonstop route map,” Cameron said in a statement.
Hart said Philadelphia is hub for American, which it gained when it merged with US Airways three years ago.
American already flies from Chattanooga to the carrier’s Charlotte, N.C., hub. Hart said it’s possible the one of the daily Charlotte flights could go away with the startup of the Philadelphia service.
The new flight will help American flow some of its traffic through Philadelphia, he said.
But, Hart said, adding another hub benefits Chattanooga travelers.
“It’s another hub that provides the opportunity for customers to get back forth to do business,” he said.
Just last month, new nonstops began to Washington, D.C., between Chattanooga and Washington Dulles International Airport on United Airlines.
While American Airlines already flies from Chattanooga into Reagan National Airport, it’s closer to the Capitol and has restrictions on the number of flights it can offer, Hart said.
While United started the Dulles flights, it dropped nonstops between Chattanooga and Newark, N.J., from which it serviced New York City. United’s exit from Newark came less than three months after Delta Air Lines in July began flying nonstops between Chattanooga and LaGuardia Airport in New York.