Quad Cities International Airport announces daily service to Charlotte Douglas International Airport with American Airlines
July 19, 2023
American Airlines will offer twice daily service from Quad Cities International Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). Booking will be available starting July 15, and the inaugural flight will be Dec. 20, 2023. Service will be provided on a CRJ-900, 76-seat, dual-class cabin jet.
The morning flights will depart 6:50 a.m. CT and arrive at CLT at approximately 10 a.m. ET. The afternoon flight will depart at 4:30 p.m. and arrive in CLT at 7:40 p.m. ET. These strategic time slots will allow Quad Cities travelers to access Charlotte’s expansive connections.
“We’ve been fighting for more air service during and post-pandemic, using all the tools in our toolbox to advocate for the Quad Cities,” said Executive Director Benjamin Leischner, A.A.E., Quad Cities International Airport. “Charlotte was at the top of our list as the most logical and sustainable route to meet the needs of our business travelers looking to travel up and down the east coast, as well as leisure travelers looking for convenient service to Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean.”
“American Airlines is excited to offer new nonstop service between Quad Cities International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport starting this December,” said Philippe Puech, American Airlines Director of Short-Haul Network Planning. “With service to three destinations from MLI, American is delighted to offer local residents the most convenient access to our global network.”
In late 2019, QC Airport hired Campbell-Hill Aviation Group as a consultant specializing in air service development. Throughout the pandemic, airport staff engaged airline planners to keep a pulse on recovery plans. In 2021, airport staff resumed traveling to air service conferences across the country, sharing important data about Quad Cities travelers and the region’s economics, and getting feedback from airlines on what they were looking for.
“We’ve refined our approach over the past couple of years to meet airlines’ evolving needs,” said Leischner. “The pandemic upended the industry and we had to explore how we could better demonstrate that the Quad Cities can support more air service. That’s when we started engaging different business leaders to get as deep an understanding as possible about their travel needs, expansion plans and recruitment, and how to tell that story in a compelling way to airline planners who are hearing from every airport in the nation about needing more service.”
Deere & Company’s extensive travel to the southeast was a major tipping point in demonstrating need to American Airlines, from Charlotte to Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro and Orlando. Business travel is a key component to air service because of its consistency. While leisure travel will always be valuable, it’s harder to measure because people may vacation several times a year, or only once every few years, and destinations vary widely. Business travel is more predictable and provides a measure of reliability to airlines who are looking for routes that will be successful year-round.
“Our business community rallying behind the airport this past year has made all the difference,” said Leischner. “It’s up to us now to show American that their faith in our market was not misplaced and leverage all that Charlotte has to offer in the way of destinations and global connectivity.”
Charlotte Douglas International Airport is among the world’s busiest airports and is served by eight major carriers, 15 regional carriers and three foreign flag carriers with service to 178 domestic and international destinations.