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Flights to and from Ithaca had many empty seats following the announcement that Cornell was suspending classes.

May 15, 2018

Direct Flights Between Ithaca and Washington Dulles to Begin This Fall

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United Airlines is offering two nonstop flights daily from Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport starting Oct. 4, the airline announced Monday.

The currently scheduled two daily round-trips might be expanded to four if demand is high, according to Mike Hall, Tompkins Airport director.

This new service follows the announcement of a major renovation plan for the airport, which will allow it to undertake international flights and offer more direct flights to major national hubs, The Sun previously reported.

The upcoming new service will replace the direct flight from Ithaca to Newark, N.J., which is currently offered by United Airlines. This transition will open Ithaca to a larger market, Hall said in a press release.

“It should produce much greater reliability than is possible to have at Newark,” he said. “Washington, DC is a very strong market for us, with our travelers such as those from Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Lockheed Martin having significant business in the D.C. area.”

In a previous interview with The Sun, Hall said that the airport is also exploring the possibility of offering direct flights to Charlotte, N.C. and Chicago, in addition to Washington D.C. and the current nonstop destinations of Philadelphia and Detroit.

The Tompkins Airport will undergo a series of major renovation this fall as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-N.Y.) plan to boost the economy in the upstate New York area. The renovation will double the building size of the airport and add to it a new federal custom facility, six boarding gates, three boarding bridges and a 4,000-feet dining area. The renovation is expected to be completed by 2019.