From the 9/12 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
Flight to Minneapolis to begin
Northwest Airlines service improves connections to West
By Todd Grady
Democrat and Chronicle
(November 12, 2002) — Rochester travelers will soon have a new nonstop option to the west -- Northwest Airlines is adding daily round-trip service to Minneapolis, beginning Feb. 13.
Northwest will fly from Minneapolis to Rochester on Feb. 13; round-trip service begins Feb. 14.
The airline has scheduled one daily round-trip on a 100-seat DC-9, leaving Rochester at 6:55 a.m. and arriving in Minneapolis at 8:30 a.m. The Minneapolis leg leaves at 6:44 p.m., arriving in Rochester at 9:50 p.m.
Airport officials have been trying to land nonstop service to Minneapolis for three years.
“It gives the community greater access to the Pacific Northwest,” said Terry Slaybaugh, director of the Greater Rochester International Airport.
The decision to add service comes as many airlines are cutting service in an attempt to reduce costs.
“It’s a huge welcome,” said Don Johnson, president of Town & Country Travel in Pittsford. “The best thing we can do is support anyone who is willing to commit seats and inventory to this marketplace.”
Rochester travelers flying west often fly American Airlines and connect in Chicago or in Detroit, where Northwest also has a hub.
Northwest flies five daily round trips between Rochester and Detroit.
Minneapolis/St. Paul is a frequent destination for Eastman Kodak Co. workers. The company has a health imaging unit in Oakdale, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul.
“There is a reasonable amount of Kodak traffic that has a need to go back and forth,” said Jim Blamphin, a Kodak spokesman.
“A direct route is very interesting to us.”
Northwest added the Rochester service to meet demand and give customers more convenient connections, said Mary Beth Schubert, spokeswoman for Northwest Airlines.
The airline has about 506 daily departures from Minneapolis. Rochester travelers heading west will be able to make one connection at Minneapolis, rather than multiple connections as they do now.