The Next Hot Spot for Airlines: Milwaukee?

By Scott Friedman
|  Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009  |  Updated 7:51 AM CDT
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Milwaukee Set To See More DFW Airline Service

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American Eagle is adding two daily nonstop flights from DFW Airport to Milwaukee.

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Milwaukee Set To See More DFW Airline Service

Airlines are cutting flights, but one city is about to get more service from Dallas-Fort Worth.
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The airlines are cutting back on flights these days, but one city is about to get more airline service from Dallas-Fort Worth.

AirTran plans to add two daily nonstops from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Milwaukee this spring. American Eagle is also adding two flights, bringing the carrier's daily total to five nonstop DFW-Milwaukee flights per day.

And Dallas-based Southwest Airlines just launched service in Milwaukee, with 12 flights per day to six different cities. The three companies are battling for passengers along with Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines, which already flies to DFW Airport.

As airlines have cut back on flights, they've pulled planes out of less profitable markets. While Milwaukee is not a big business destination nor a vacation hot spot, airlines see it as a strategic spot.

Located just 90 miles north of Chicago, Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport is seen as a potential place for growth. The airport already attracts passengers from the northern suburbs of Chicago, who find it easier to get to Milwaukee than battle traffic on the roads and the tarmac at either Midway or O'Hare International Airport.

"We're really trying to focus on areas where we feel there's a demand, and Milwaukee was one of those areas," said Paul Flaningan, a Southwest Airlines spokesman.

American Eagle Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said the carrier's decision to increase Milwaukee services is a "reflection of the increasing competition in that market."

"It's a market Eagle has done well in," he said.

Airlines continue to look for strategic spots to make money. Right now they think that kind of opportunity may be brewing in the old beer capital of the U.S.

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