In order to better serve the growing oil and gas operations in Northeast Ohio, daily flight service from Cleveland to Okla- homa City begins today.
The inaugural flight will depart Cleveland Hopkins International Airport at 8:40 a.m. and touch down in Oklahoma City at 10:33 a.m.
Karen Carney, spokeswoman for the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, said a one-way ticket costs about $200, which she said was subject to change depending on booking dates and price fluctuations.
Many of the companies with robust oil and gas operations across Northeast Ohio, such as Chesapeake Energy and Gulfport Energy are headquartered in Oklahoma City, where economic development is on the upswing and demand for the flight service reached a point when United Airlines determined the route would be profitable.
“United has focused on building up its hub in Cleveland,” Carney said. “When they took a look at the markets in both cities and the growing relationships in the energy sectors in those two areas, that made a big difference in their decision to offer the service.”
Pete Kenworthy, a Chesapeake spokesman, said the company was aware of the new service and will use it for convenience.
Dan Dickten, director of aviation at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna, said his facility also is considering similar service with both Oklahoma City and points in Texas.
Airport officials will meet with an air service development firm in San Antonio in the coming months, he said.
Tony Paglia, vice president of government and media affairs at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, said his organization already has met with companies in Houston that expressed a strong “desirability for having more direct flights to Youngstown.”
Dickten added that such a flight service will more than likely become a reality in the near future.
For now, United will offer one daily flight to Oklahoma City that returns to Cleveland around 2:30 p.m.