United Airlines began on Wednesday offering daily direct flights between Fresno Yosemite International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport using Embraer E-175 jets, like the one pictured here. Submitted photo.

published on June 8, 2018 - 11:54 AM
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For the first time, airline passengers can take direct flights from Fresno-Yosemite International Airport to the Windy City.

Thursday night, United Airlines launched the first daily flight between here and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the fourth largest airport in the world and the second largest airline hub in North America.

“United’s newest flight between Fresno and Chicago offers our Central Valley customers more opportunities to conveniently connect to nearly 60 destinations in the U.S. and Canada,” Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of domestic network planning, said in a press release. “We are excited to begin serving Fresno and connecting customers to California’s beautiful Central Valley.”

“This also means that people throughout the world will have greater accessibility to the city of Fresno” while also creating more opportunities for business between the Midwest and here, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said in November, when he announced United’s plans,

He noted then that Chicago is the headquarters of several Fortune 500 companies.

Chicago consistently ranks as one of Fresno Yosemite International Airport’s Top 10 Markets where travelers are flying to and has been a priority destination of Fresno Yosemite International Airport’s continuous air service development efforts, a press release issued by the airport states.

United, which already provided daily non-stop flights between Fresno and Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco, will offer only one departing flight daily to Chicago scheduled for 11 p.m., with the 76-seat Embraer E175 jets scheduled to arrive here from Chicago 41 minutes earlier.

In August, the airline began offering early-morning flights using Boeing 737 aircraft to San Francisco and continues to transition to larger aircraft, as well as increasing flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco Fresno Yosemite officials report.

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