Update on United Airlines flights

Ticket sales are up for the commercial flights from Topeka Regional Airport to Chicago.

That’s 5 months after the service started.

Kansas First News reporter Vanessa Martinas tells us why the airport is expecting a lot of customers in the next few months.

Topeka Regional Airport is expecting an increase in travel with the start of summer vacations.

As you may remember United Airlines started direct flights to and from Chicago back in January.

It’s slowly been increasing, this month they’re close to reaching 60% of its load factor.

Airport officials say their goal is to reach 80% or higher in the next 6 months.

An airplane’s load factor is measured by how many seats are occupied.

When the airport opened it’s average load factor was half of what it is now.

“We just want to continue growing this, getting the word out there talking to the businesses, business travel is extremely important for the success of this operation,” Topeka Regional Airport President Eric Johnson said.

“I think everybody in the Topeka area..Manhattan, Lawrence, Emporia they should all be using this airline services it’s so fast, it’s so convenient and we really need it in the community, ” frequent flyer Walt Frederick said.

The airport has received grants adding up to nearly $2 million.

The money is to compensate for decreases in load factors, but they haven’t had to dip into that fund yet.

The grants are suppose to last the them for 2 years.

If the airport reaches its goal, it then wants to add another connecting hub.

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