IND loses Milwaukee, Pittsburgh routes

Regional airline Contour kicked off its direct flights from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Nashville in mid October with fanfare — balloons, a three-piece band, an airline-executive greeting party at the gate.

But just around the corner was a new COVID-19 variant, and three months later, Contour Airlines pulled two of those three routes from the Indianapolis International Airport.

“Honestly the timing was just poor,” Contour CEO Matt Chaifetz said. “We’re still committed to Indianapolis.”

The airline is demonstrating this commitment by keeping its Nashville connection which, of the three, weathered the rough December and January months the best. Chaifetz said this route has the strongest mix of business travel, which is suffering the most, and leisure travel, which is rebounding the strongest.

The three routes were envisioned for primarily business travelers, because they provide there-and-back nonstop service to destinations that are also reachable by car, known as “drive markets.”

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