Indy hopes to show off city, airport during international conference

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The aviation industry is centered on Indiana this week as the Hoosier State welcomes hundreds of airline decision makers from across the world for “Routes Americas 2020.”

It’s an international route development forum bringing together airlines and airports.

Routinely ranked one of the best airports in North America, Indy’s airport flies directly to a number of cities, but for some traveling abroad, non-stops are hard to find.

“No, a lot of connections," said Carmel resident Bill Moore, who said he flies out of the airport multiple times a month. "Because Indianapolis is not an airport commonly used for those long flights, you do usually pick up connections often.”

Right now Indianapolis flies directly to 50 cities, which is more than ever before. But the airport wants a shot at more, and this week is their best chance when they host hundreds of industry leaders.

“These are decision makers, the airline decision makers that run all the data and figure out who has non stops, and we want more,” said Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriquez.

For three days, Indianapolis will host the route development forum with key figures from roughly 80 airlines and 300 airports. Rodriquez said it's a great opportunity to network and showcase the city.

“There are airline decision makers and airport decision makers trying to attract those airlines to come to their airports," Rodriguez said. "And we have a homefield advantage. They’re here at our airport and they're here in Indiana.”

The Indianapolis Airport Authority has been vying to host the event for nearly two years. They’re now just the third U.S. city to do so after Denver and Las Vegas,

“This helps us in selling Indianapolis, selling Indiana, to the rest of the aviation world,” Rodriguez said,

On top of more direct U.S. flights, the Airport Authority wants to add more international flights. Roughly two years ago the city began a direct flight to Paris.

"What we’re trying to do here is enhance the amount of non-stops. But right now this airport is extremely connected to the rest of the world,” Rodriguez said. "Some of the airlines that are here are international airlines, and we want to continue the conversation to get more international connectivity.”

Both Governor Eric Holcomb and mayor Joe Hogsett are expected to attend the event, according to the airport authority.

The conference begins Feb. 4 at the J.W. Marriott downtown.

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