Ohio’s Skies: A Look at the Success of JobsOhio’s Air Service Restoration Program
As part of our commitment to connecting people to the state of Ohio and attracting businesses and talent in the process, JobsOhio launched the Air Service Restoration Program in 2020 to increase the number of destinations served at the state’s seven commercial airports. The program has already soared Ohio to new heights, even amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
New International and Domestic Flights:
In collaboration with key local stakeholders, we have already seen significant returns on our investments in air service. This summer, Aer Lingus will launch a direct flight from Cleveland to Dublin, Ireland, and British Airways is launching a direct flight from Cincinnati Airport to London Heathrow, which are estimated to contribute $28M and $57M in annual economic impact, respectively. The program's positive impact extends to domestic travel as well, with Alaska Airlines recently launching a flight from Cleveland to Seattle, providing Ohio travelers with the ability to travel west with ease. JobsOhio has helped fund more than 20 Breeze Airways’ flights from the Akron-Canton, Columbus and Cincinnati airports. A flight on Avelo Airlines from Dayton to Orlando was also added as a new, low-cost option for travelers.
Program Funding and Partnerships:
JobsOhio has set aside $10 million annually for the program, providing short-term revenue guarantee incentives to airlines, encouraging them to operate at Ohio airports. This allows our state’s commercial airports to work collaboratively through public and private partnerships to retain and restore air service for economic development. Over time, these partnerships become self-sufficient, driven by the demand from both businesses and consumers.
Connectivity and Collaboration:
Ohio’s connectivity to domestic and international destinations is crucial for businesses considering making our state their home. Simply put, if we want to land new company operations in Ohio, we need to land new passenger flight routes here as well. We aim to remove hurdles for businesses traveling to and from Ohio, by transforming our state into a one-stop destination for travel, where people can easily find flights without inconvenient, long layover times. JobsOhio’s commitment to incentivizing flights has even extended to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which is located in Kentucky. We worked collaboratively with our neighbor to achieve mutual benefits for travelers on both sides of the Ohio River.
We are thankful to all who’ve collaborated to create partnerships that have led to impressive results of our Air Service Restoration program. Expanding air service in Ohio is a critical component of our state’s economic development strategy, and we look forward to continuing to work with airlines, airports, and communities to make Ohio a convenient hub for business and leisure travel.