Flights to Chicago could be coming to Joplin

City council to vote on agreement for new flights
Flights to Chicago could be coming to Joplin
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The Joplin airport could be adding another flight destination.

Currently, the airport’s only connecting flight is to Dallas, Texas. If approved by the city council — new flights to and from Chicago would be added at the Joplin regional airport in June.

A little more than six years ago the city of Joplin started using American Airlines to provide flights between Joplin and Dallas, Texas.

And ever since.. Airport Manager Steve Stockam has tried to extend that service to include Chicago.

Steve Stockam, Joplin Airport Manager:”We’ve always felt very strongly that whichever way you pointed the airplane, whether it was towards Chicago or towards Dallas, we were gonna be able to sustain.”

Now they are closer than ever.

A minimum revenue guarantee is awaiting approval between American and the city that would create flights between the Joplin Regional Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

If the revenue from the flights don’t cover American’s costs.. the city would have to pay the difference for the first year.. up to 600 thousand dollars.

Stockam:”What is extremely encouraging to me is the fact that, number one, the airline typically requires a two year agreement. in this case, they said we don’t think we’re gonna need two years, we’re just gonna ask you to sign a one year agreement.”

If the city does have to pay money to American.. that fee would be split between the transportation sales tax, the Convention and Visitors Bureau fund.. and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, with each paying 200 thousand.

Toby Teeter, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce President:”This is a big game changer for the local business community. There is a number of businesses that have interest in the north east, in Chicago and Canada, as well as Europe. And not only does this give the business community access to the world, it gives the world access to the Joplin regional business community.”

And many local flyers seem to feel just as excited.

Matthew Gilliland, Parsons, Kansas resident:”I think that’s a brilliant idea because the stops can get really annoying and the overlays and what not. And I think a lot of people would like to see more states.. I know I’d like to go to Chicago”

Stockam:”I’ve been besieged by emails from folks all over the area saying, ‘wow, finally we’re gonna get this thing going, and get it going in the right direction.'”

The city council will vote on the agreement during Monday (01/07) night’s council meeting.

Some other details:

The flights would use 50 passenger ERJ-145 regional jets. Flights would leave Joplin at 5:44 a.m. and Chicago at 8:15 p.m. There also would be flights leaving Joplin at 2:15 p.m. and Chicago at 11:50 a.m., every day except Saturday.

Stockam says tickets to Chicago would become available online on January 12th or 13th.