If you’re serious about building business that will drive a prosperous statewide economy, you have to invest.
Indiana is fortunate in that regard. Gov. Eric Holcomb has been vocal that for Indiana to realize its full, global economic potential, we have to bridge the gap with the rest of the world when it comes to air travel. And Indiana’s commitment of $20 million dedicated for nonstop international flights makes the governor’s Next Level Connections agenda a truly comprehensive approach to a transportation strategy.
So what does $20 million do in the hyper-competitive air service industry? First let me be clear, the focus is on key business markets. Secondly, it strengthens existing and ongoing air-service recruitment efforts already in progress to key business destination markets. In short, this investment opens doors for serious conversations with current and new airlines who are considering viable market expansion to destinations that align with Indiana’s global-business opportunities. It substantially strengthens the sales pitch to the airlines, sending the clear message that our state is serious about connecting Indiana to the world, and the world to Indiana.
Yet landing flights to key markets takes a complicated combination of effort and factors — such as an existing demand that financially justifies target destinations, time, state of the global economy, collaboration with many entities, and it takes resources.
And when it comes to air travel, Indiana is a serious competitor. The Indianapolis International Airport is the best airport of its size in North America with record passenger growth year over year, and among the top 10 most-connected airports on the continent. It’s this kind of reputation that attracts attention — and respect. As a case in point, Indianapolis is currently competing for the opportunity to host Routes Americas in 2020, which could attract hundreds of airport/aviation professionals, including key airline route decisions makers to Indianapolis.
With these kinds of opportunities, industry reputation, future and growing demand for target destinations, and millions of dollars in dedicated resources, coupled with city and state leaders reaching out across the globe via international trade missions, we have tremendous opportunity to become a central Midwest gate for business travel throughout the world.
Today Indianapolis has access into international business meccas in Europe and Canada through nonstop flights into Paris and Toronto. But there’s further opportunity awaiting us in North and South America, Asia, Europe and with other unserved and underserved destinations.
As a state and city, we have what it takes to compete. We have the facilities. We have the people. We the leadership. And we have the will.
And with the Next Level Connections funding, we now have a stronger opportunity to create the way.