Delta Air Lines kicked off a new daily nonstop flight from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Austin, Texas, on Thursday, connecting the airport to what had been its largest market without a direct connection.
The service will include one flight to Austin and a return flight to RDU every day using a 76-seat Canadair Regional Jet-900 aircraft. More than 250 people travel between RDU and Austin daily using connecting flights, according to the airport.
The service will connect two major technology centers, RDU spokesman Andrew Sawyer said. “It’s something our business travelers have been asking for for a long time,” he said.
Austin becomes the 48th nonstop destination to and from RDU. The next-largest RDU destinations without direct flights are Kansas City, Mo., Portland, Ore., San Juan, Puerto Rico, San Diego and San Jose, Calif.
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Delta Airlines also is expected to launch a few more nonstop flights in June, to Seattle and Nashville.
The new service comes after a busy year for the airline, which kicked off four new daily nonstop flights from RDU in 2016 to Salt Lake City, Washington, D.C., Newark, N.J., and Paris. This summer, the Paris nonstop will be upgraded to a larger aircraft because of increased demand.
About 30 percent of the passengers that boarded a plane at RDU in 2016 flew with Delta, which will offer as many as 74 departures a day to 26 weekly destinations as of this summer.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-829-4845: @KTrogdon