During Routes Americas, an aviation event convening decision makers from airlines, airports and destinations around the world, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger joined executives from Contour Airlines, a premium, regional airline, as the company announced plans to establish an aircraft base at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) and launch three new domestic routes.
To support Contour’s growth in Indiana, the airline also announced plans to create up to 55 new jobs in central Indiana by the end of 2023.
The Smyrna, Tenn.-based company is purchasing an additional aircraft and investing a significant amount over the next few years to establish its new base of operations, which will initially house two of the regional jets. Contour plans to launch operations at the IND on June 10.
The air service will connect Indiana to Nashville International Airport (BNA), St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL), and Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), bringing the total connectivity available from the Indianapolis airport to 53 nonstop destinations.
Known as the Crossroads of America, Indiana is within a one-day drive to 60% of the U.S. population and is home to more than 1,700 miles of interstate, three international ports, the second-largest FedEx hub in the world and the award-winning Indianapolis International Airport, which has been named the best airport in North America for the seventh consecutive year from Airports Council International.
With the addition of these new routes, Contour will serve 20 routes in 10 states, and Indianapolis will become the airline’s 2nd focus city after Santa Barbara, California, with plans to expand its service to and from Indianapolis and offer more new nonstop routes.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Corporate Flight Management, Inc. dba Contour Airlines up to $1.5 million in the form of a Minimum Revenue Guarantee, meaning the company only earns it if it does not meet its minimum revenue targets for the routes. Additionally, the IEDC offered the company up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. The city of Indianapolis supports the project at the request of Develop Indy.
Contour, which employs about 380 team members across the U.S., plans to immediately begin hiring pilots, flight attendants, customer service agents, mechanics and ground personnel to support the operations. Interested applicants may apply online at www.contourairlines.com.