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Hoosiers Take Off on Indy Airport’s First Nonstop Flight to Europe

Delta Air Lines Flight 500 from Indy to Paris makes history with inaugural voyage

INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2018) – Indianapolis International Airport (IND) added another memorializing chapter to its history this afternoon as Delta Air Lines Flight 500 took to the air, launching the state’s first year-round, nonstop transatlantic air service to Paris, France.

The Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 225 seats and wide-body cargo capacity, lifted off from the Indy airport this evening, headed to the world’s most romantic city, and the central business hub of Europe.

“This is an historical moment, because for the first time Hoosiers – traveling for both leisure and business – will have a direct flight right into the heart of Europe,” said Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. “From there, connectivity is tremendous. Travelers will be able to fly direct into 75 destinations in Europe and the Middle East via a one-stop connection in Paris on Delta and its partners. We’ve never had that kind of access before – and it’s a big deal.”

The Indy airport gave passengers a world-class send off, with the international gate redesigned to replicate the quintessential charm of a Paris street scene, and remarks from Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Mayor Joe Hogsett, Deputy Consul General of France in Chicago Frédéric Cholé, President of the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago Juan-Luis Goujon, IAA Executive Director Rodriguez and Delta Air Lines executives. City, state, community leaders and airport officials, as well as inaugural flight passengers, gathered to celebrate the momentous occasion.

“Indiana’s reputation as a destination for business and tourism continues to be heard loud and clear around the world and across the U.S.,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “As global businesses flock to Indiana, and we continue to break records for tourism spending in the state, we will ensure our state’s business community and travelers alike are connected to the rest of the world. This flight is a big win for Indiana, and we’re excited to celebrate Indiana’s first transatlantic flight as it takes off for Paris.”

More than 900 foreign-owned businesses call Indiana home, employing nearly 200,000 employees and exporting more than $34.7 billion in goods to customers around the world. The transatlantic Delta flight means many of these businesses can work more closely and conveniently with European business power centers, like Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon, London, Manchester, Munich and Rome.

The Paris flight will also open up the world more broadly for leisure travelers out of Indianapolis, offering direct connections into the most-famed tourist cities in the world, like Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Florence, London, Rome and Venice.

"A direct international connection is exciting news for our community, but it comes as no surprise: Indianapolis is a world-class city primed to excel on the global stage,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “For decades, the economic growth we’ve enjoyed has attracted international talent and a diverse workforce – today, we are seeing the results of that success, as we turn the ‘Crossroads of America,’ into the crossroads to the world.”

With more than 250 people traveling from Indianapolis to transatlantic destinations daily and the cargo capabilities of moving goods from one continent to the other, this new flight could deliver a $50 million annual impact to the Hoosier economy.

Governor Eric Holcomb will arrive home on Flight 501 from Paris to Indianapolis on May 25, after completing a week-long intense business-development delegation overseas to encourage European investment in Indiana. The governor announced the news about Indiana’s first nonstop transatlantic fight to Europe at the Indianapolis International Airport in September 2017.

Passengers arriving on Flight 501, will arrive just in time to experience the world’s greatest spectacle in racing – the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. The green flag signifying the start of the Indy 500 will be on the first flight from Europe and Governor Holcomb will deliver it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the yard of bricks.