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ROUTES: Milwaukee seeks European service

Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International airport is increasing its marketing efforts to capture its first transatlantic service, hoping its close proximity to Chicago’s sprawling metropolis and lower airport charges compared with dominant O’Hare will prove attractive.

The first-time World Routes exhibitor, which is located 70 miles north of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, says its region already serves a large number of transatlantic passengers, with the UK, Germany and France popular destinations. “We’re looking for a niche carrier interested in serving a strong O&D market,” says Pat Rowe, the airport’s marketing director.

The airport is also targeting the return of service to cities such as San Diego, Pittsburgh and Nashville, which various carriers have dropped in recent years. It lost some service following the merger of Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways and as Frontier Airline pulled out of some markets, says Rowe.

“This investment is the largest we’ve ever made in projecting the business,” says Rowe of its efforts here in Las Vegas.

Milwaukee is attracting delegates to its stand with the promise of a photo opportunity on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The bike maker, just one of the 47 Fortune 500 and 1000 companies located in the airport’s catchment area, has loaned the machine for the duration of the show.

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