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Non-stop flights from Fort Wayne to Philadelphia, Charlotte, N.C., to start Oct. 2 (with video)

Monday, May 5, 2014 - 1:10 pm

Non-stop air service between Fort Wayne and two East Coast hubs will begin Oct. 2, officials announced Monday.

An incentives package of about $2 million, including $600,000 in city “Legacy” and economic development income taxes, will result in American Airlines service to Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C., opening up new direct markets for Fort Wayne air travelers – an expansion City Council agreed is “essential to the economic vitality of northeast Indiana” when it approved the package in March. Flights to Philadelphia will run twice a day; those to Charlotte once daily.

The $70 million Legacy fund was created through the sale of the former City Light electric utility and is earmarked for “transformational” projects.

When council balked at awarding $600,000 in Legacy money, it split the city's contribution between Legacy and economic development income taxes.

The airline will be able to tap the incentives pool if the new service does not generate a certain level of income in its first two years.

As previously reported, the incentives package also is expected to include a $600,000 federal grant to the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority and support from other sources, including Allen County, the Indiana Economic Development Corp., Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and others.

U.S. Airways Express merged with American Airlines late last year and will provide the service using 50-seat CRJ Bombardier jets.

Together the airlines operate nearly 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries.