One Daily nonstop flight to ORD starting June 2005 , American Eagle has not issued a formal press release but the flight should be in the reservation system by Monday.
I noticed this on http://www.flypensacola.com/airlines.asp were it says "American Eagle flies nonstop to DFW,RDU and *One Daily nonstop flight to ORD starting June 2005*. I emailed the airport (to confirm this) and got a nice response back, and apparently it is true.
I think this is great news, and a great benefit for the Pensacola/Gulf Coast. According to faremeasure.com On average, 153 passengers travel the 794 miles between Pensacola, FL and Chicago, IL each day. The Chicago metro area is Pensacola's 3rd top market. The Gulf Coast region had non-stop service by United Express to Chicago O'Hare from Mobile between November 1999 and September 2001. This service did not perform well for United due to operational constraints at O'Hare, the less then optimum stage length (nearly 800 miles) for a regional jet and limited non-circuitous flow traffic opportunities. No word on the schedule/aircraft type, I'm hoping for a CRJ-700.
I also found out that:
No extension is planned for Runway 17/35, only a total pavement rehabilitation which is planned to start by June/July 2005 for an 18 month timeframe.
The airports 2005 PFC Application includes the expansion of the security area along with the inline baggage screening equipment and that is planned to be completed in the 2006-2007 timeframe.
Photo © William Jenkins