(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indy’s newest airline will begin service October 12 — 16 months later than originally planned.
Contour Airlines announced plans for nonstop flights to three cities last year, only to put those plans on hold when the pandemic hit a month later. CEO Larry Chaifetz says with workers returning to offices and kids going back to school, business travel is recovering as well, and the time is right to try again.
The Nashville-based airline’s business model focuses on cities which are theoretically in driving distance, but where the time and productivity saved by flying is worth the cost. In Indianapolis, that will mean daily flights to Nashville and Pittsburgh. Contour had originally planned St. Louis as its third destination, but will fly to Milwaukee instead. Chaifetz says the start of a new Southwest route to St. Louis meant Contour would no longer have the route to itself, while a review of travel and cell phone data during the pandemic delay indicated there’s more business travel to Milwaukee. And he notes Milwaukee is a longer drive, even without factoring in the annoyance of Chicago-area traffic.
Contour hopes to entice customers with not only the time saved by flying instead of driving, but the time saved at the airport itself. Because Contour’s planes carry 30-to-50 people, Chaifetz says getting on and off the plane takes less time. And he says there’s more legroom.