Economy

This coming spring, Louisville will have a nonstop flight to the West Coast.  

Beginning April 2, 2019, American Airlines will offer daily, nonstop flights to Los Angeles, officials announced Thursday. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the nonstop option would help attract business to the city.

“This is an effort that shows we can do better. We can go direct to LA, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle. But we’ve got to do something about it,” Fischer said.

This will be the first regularly scheduled nonstop service between Louisville and the West Coast, according to a news release. With the Los Angeles route added, American Airlines will offer 27 daily, nonstop flights to seven destinations from Louisville; the other destinations include Chicago, Miami and New York.,

The Louisville Regional Airlift Development (LRAD) helped bring the nonstop flight to Louisville.

LRAD was formed in 2017 with the goal of creating more nonstop flights to major market areas. It partnered with Louisville Metro Government and businesses to help fund the flight through a minimum revenue guarantee (MRG), which is a public and private money pool the airline would use if it doesn’t meet its revenue goal for the flight.

LRAD Project Consultant Luke Schmidt said they expect the flight will be successful and profitable.

“Los Angeles and the southern California market represent one of the largest markets in the world,” Schmidt said. “This opens up a lot of new commerce opportunities for the state, for Southern Indiana. And it should lead to new jobs.”

Louisville Regional Airlift Development Project Consultant Luke Schmidt at nonstop flight to LA announcementKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Louisville Regional Airlift Development Project Consultant Luke Schmidt at nonstop flight to LA announcement

Schmidt declined to say what the revenue goal is and how much was put into that money pool, citing a confidentiality agreement with the airline. But he said Louisville set aside $200,000 both last fiscal year and this fiscal year. He said this is the first MRG for Louisville. If the money is not used after two years, it would be used for MRG agreements on other nonstop flight routes.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.