2019 is beginning with great news for travelers from Joplin and the surrounding area. Starting in June, Joplin Regional Airport will begin offering service to Chicago!
American Airlines recently announced the upgrade of their service in Joplin to include two flights daily, (except Saturday), to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The proposed service will begin on June 6, 2019 with a 50-passenger ERJ-145 regional jet. The Chicago flights will be added to the two daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth that American Airlines currently offers.
The service begins in the summer in time for American’s new seasonal service to Athens, Greece (ATH) from ORD and the seasonal return to Venice, Italy (VCE). With convenient flight times, Joplin customers can connect to these European hot spots and to over 500 flights from ORD.
“This is a great addition to air service for our area,” said Joplin Mayor Gary Shaw. “American has been our service provider since 2011 and has witnessed the growth in our market. We are both pleased and excited that our customers can now get to Chicago easily. We’ve been working toward this for some time and it’s a great way to start off the new year.”
To secure this service, the City of Joplin signed a one-year minimum revenue guarantee (MRG) agreement in an amount not to exceed $600,000 for the service. These funds will be available, if needed, following American’s monthly reviews of flight numbers and revenues.
The agreement outlines this process for Joplin’s new service with American setting a minimum revenue baseline for every flight. At the end of each month the airline will calculate the total revenue needed by the number of flights flown at this station. If the revenue generated falls below the required baseline amount within the agreement, the City will be required to pay the difference. If the revenue exceeds the baseline amount, no payout will be needed. Additional revenues will not carry over to the next month.
“Several other cities in Missouri have MRG agreements, including Columbia and Springfield,” said Steve Stockam, Joplin Regional Airport Manager. “This agreement provides a revenue guarantee for American IF the actual flight numbers do not achieve this. In other cities we’ve talked to, the MRG has helped to achieve a consistent service where both parties benefit. We are confident that our customers will use this new service helping to have the passenger counts needed and we’ll be in a similar situation.”
The City has partnered with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce to support the agreement with $200,000 of the MRG. The City’s portion of $400,000 will be split 50/50 from the Transportation Sales Tax Fund Balance and the Convention and Visitor Bureau Fund Balance.
“We appreciate the Chamber’s endorsement of this service,” said City Manager Sam Anselm. “As a business-oriented market, Chicago has been a destination that many requested. Now that it’s a reality, we anticipate continued growth with this service. It will be significant to our economic development, as well as the quality of life in our community.”
The local financial impact is estimated to bring 48,000 additional passengers through the Joplin Airport. Approximately 15,000 more overnight room stays from new passengers are expected, which is projected to generate an additional $3 million for the local economy. The Airport is expected to see $115,000 annually in new fee revenues.
Proposed flights times to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD on ticketing sites) are:
Origin Departs Destination Arrives Days of Operation
Joplin 5:44 a.m. Chicago 7:44 a.m. Daily
Chicago 11:50 a.m. Joplin 1:15 p.m. Daily Except Sat.
Joplin 2:15 p.m. Chicago 4:20 p.m. Daily Except Sat.
Chicago 8:15 p.m. Joplin 10:05 p.m. Daily
“It’s just six short months until we have the first flight to Chicago,” said Stockam. “It’s great to announce this today, and we look forward to seeing more passengers come through our terminal. Customer service and convenience is what our customers have come to expect from the Joplin Regional Airport, and now they have more choices with our continued free parking and convenient access to the terminal. It’s a great time to Fly Joplin!”
For more information about the Joplin Regional Airport and its flight service, go to www.jlnairport.com . To book a flight, go to www.AA.com .