Eppley Airfield gains nonstops to Cleveland

Sep. 15--In announcing an expansion of its service at Eppley Airfield, a Continental Airlines spokesman Friday noted the potential that Omaha offers.

"Omaha is the only city with five Fortune 500 company headquarters that is not served nonstop from Cleveland," said Greg Hart, vice president of scheduling.

Continental, which will add three daily nonstop flights from Omaha to its Cleveland hub at Hopkins International Airport next year, said the new routes will give more options to customers.

A spokeswoman for the airline said the new service, on top of the 10 daily flights it already provides at Eppley, will allow travelers to connect to dozens of additional destinations throughout the Midwest, the Northeast, Canada and Europe, including flights to London and Paris.

"There's a tremendous market in Omaha," said Don Smithey, executive director of the Omaha Airport Authority, which operates Eppley Airfield. "Our passengers are going to the east, and obviously Continental is taking notice."

No other airline provides nonstop service between Omaha and Cleveland.

The first two daily flights will start March 3, leaving Eppley at 6:39 a.m. and 11 a.m. A third daily flight will be added May 5, departing at 2:49 p.m. Flying time on the 727-mile trip, on regional jets, is about 2 hours and 6 minutes.

Return flights will leave Cleveland daily at 9:05 a.m., 12:40 p.m. and 8:50 p.m.

Continental's existing daily flights from Eppley include up to seven to its Houston hub and three to its Newark, N.J., hub.

The airline said the introductory nonstop fare to Cleveland would be $198 per round trip, excluding fees. The tickets must be purchased by Sept. 28.

Staff writer Leia Baez contributed to this report.

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