United Airlines announced Thursday it will connect its Cleveland hub to Oklahoma City with a nonstop daily flight to Will Rogers World Airport beginning Feb 14.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport will be the 22nd airport served nonstop from Will Rogers World Airport.
Jim Ferea, United's managing director of domestic planning, said the Oklahoma City connection will support northeast Ohio's growing energy sector.
Local energy companies' interest in Ohio's Utica Shale has created the demand for more travel options, added Karen Carney, spokeswoman for Will Rogers World Airport.
But the connection to Cleveland also opens up greater access to East Coast cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington for all travelers. United timed the Oklahoma City departure early enough to connect to those eastbound flights, Carney said.
“It really emphasizes the positive things going on in our community. We've seen our enplanements grow, and airlines are watching that. They believe in Oklahoma City as a market,” Carney said.
United also said Thursday it will add a nonstop flight from Cleveland to Nashville, Tenn., starting Dec. 19, and discontinue service between Cleveland and Green Bay, Wis.
United has scheduled the weekday flights to depart Oklahoma City at 8:40 a.m., arriving in Cleveland at 10:30 a.m. Flights from Cleveland will depart at 10:55 a.m. and arrive in Oklahoma City at 2:30 p.m.
The flights will be operated on United Express with an ExpressJet 50-seat regional jet aircraft.
Tickets for the flights go on sale Saturday.