Created: 05/12/2014 6:29 PM KAALtv.com
By: Hannah Tran
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The Rochester International Airport was celebrating Monday morning. Officials revealed some big news that will open the international market even further.
For the first time in its history, RST will have direct, non-stop service to Atlanta, the world’s busiest airport. It will also bring back non-stop service to Detroit. With these upcoming daily flight services, Rochester's airport is expanding its reach around the world.
"We’re connecting to Delta's three largest hubs between Minneapolis and now Detroit and Atlanta,” said Marty Lenss, Executive Director for Rochester’s International Airport.
He says the two cities will give a 90 percent increase in non-stop opportunities.
"I think it speaks well to the economic future of not just Rochester, but what Delta's seeing in the region, otherwise they would not make this investment,” said Lenss.
Delta airlines will be adding new aircraft as well. Right now, there are five daily flights between Minneapolis and Rochester on a plane that seats about 50 passengers. Its model is referred to as the CRJ-200.
"But in addition to that, on the Atlanta flight and at one of the Minneapolis flights, we'll also be bringing our 2-class RJ product, which is a 65-seat aircraft,” said a Delta representative.
15 more seats on bigger planes means more passengers and more patients. There are nearly 3 million visitors annually to Rochester, where Mayo Clinic hopes to continue to build as the Destination Medical Center.
"But it is also critical to Mayo Clinic's ability to provide seamless whole person care to everyone in need of healing,” said a Mayo Clinic representative.
With connections to the three largest hubs in the Delta network, officials hope transportation will be more convenient, accessible, and thus attractive for more people globally.
"It’s good for not only Mayo Clinic getting patients and visitors, but it's great for the business community in general,” said Rochester Economic Development President Gary Smith.
These additions speak for the economic future of Rochester, a future that has only shown signs of upward mobility.
Service to Atlanta and Detroit will begin on September 14th later this year.