Tagged as the busiest airport In the world, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson international airport is now receiving direct flights to and from Winnipeg. The province made the announcement Thursday, May 11.
PortageOnline caught up with Travel Quest owner and manager Carrie Duncan and asked what that means to travelers.
"When you think about Atlanta, it's maybe not somewhere that you're instantly thinking is a major destination," says Duncan. "But the significant part of that is all the connections that you can make from there. So, this direct nonstop service from Winnipeg to Atlanta gives you connectability into probably 45 or 50 different destinations and Atlanta is a major hub for Delta Airlines. That's going to strengthen that partnership and just open up all kinds of other options."
Despite it being quite new, she says it's going to be a good economic booster for Manitoba.
"Obviously, this wasn't a destination that they just pulled out of a hat," adds Duncan. "There's been a lot of thought and process that has gone into this. The province of Manitoba is also funding part of this, so if they don't meet certain passenger levels, there will be some monies that go to the airlines. There's definitely a lot of thought in it."
Duncan says it will have to be a proven route for it to continue to be a direct flight in perpetua, however, she notes they've done their homework to make this decision.
"Just having that connectivity into the southeastern part of the US on a direct flight is huge and I think there will be a lot of economic spin off from Manitoba for that," says Duncan. "I think what will simplify travel is that at many of these destinations, you'll be able to check in Winnipeg, have your luggage that you're checking through, tagged all the way to your final destination, and then clear through US customs right in Winnipeg. It just makes it easier, all around, for the traveling public."