United Airlines, Allegiant Air to fly non-stop to Duluth from Chicago and Orlando

Monday, September 21, 2009, 12:16 by Jose Philip

Duluth, the port city in Minnesota, the United States is going to get non-stop flights from Chicago and Orlando – between Chicago and Duluth by United Airlines, and between Orlando and Duluth by Allegiant Air.

Even though United Airlines has so far not officially announced the new route, its website www.united.com is already selling tickets for the United Express/Skywest Airlines flights on the Duluth-Chicago route to be launched on December 17, 2009.

There will be 2 daily flights, 7 days a week between Chicago and Duluth, United Airlines, based in Chicago, the United States, and a subsidiary of UAL Corporation, said on its website.

At present, Duluth International Airport had direct flights only to Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Detroit.

The United Airlines flight will leave Duluth International Airport for O’Hare International Airport in Chicago at 6 a.m. and 3:20 p.m.  In the return direction, the flights are scheduled to take off from Chicago to Duluth at 1.10 p.m. and 8.10 p.m.

The Duluth-Chicago flight takes around one and a half hours. Fares are $121 one way, or $242 roundtrip.

Allegiant Air had announced earlier in September 2009 that it planned to start non-stop flights between Orlando in Florida and Duluth on November 20, 2009.

Between Duluth International Airport and Orlando Sanford International Airport, Allegiant Air will operate two flights a week – on Mondays and Fridays – using MD-80 series jet planes with 150 seats.

The introductory one-way fare between Duluth and Orlando is $89.99 ($179.98 roundtrip), if booked before October 1, 2009. After this date, the one-way fare will go up to $99.99.

There are extra fees for convenience ($14 for using booking services other than ticket offices in airport), for priority boarding ($7.50), for booking over telephone ($10 each way), for checked baggage ($30), and for seat selection ($13).

The fare for roundtrip flights between Orlando and Minneapolis starts at $214.

Allegiant Air, the low-cost carrier headquartered in Clark County, Nevada, the United States, has been flying between Duluth and Las Vegas since January 2006.

According to Brian Ryks, executive director of Duluth Airport Authority, passenger traffic to and from Las Vegas had tripled after Allegiant Air launched the Duluth-Las Vegas non-stop flight. He added that he expected a rise in passenger traffic to and from Orlando once the Duluth-Orlando flights starts.

Ryks said that the flight to Las Vegas is the most popular service to and from Duluth – with 34,830 people travelling in 2008. Chicago came second (with 15,470 passengers) and Orlando was third (with 14,350 passengers).

Market research as well as the findings of a study conducted among leaders of the local community in Duluth show that the residents of Duluth will welcome the flight to Orlando as an alternative to long drives and connecting flights, a statement from Allegiant Air said.

The United States-based Delta Air Lines currently flies to Duluth from Minneapolis.