United Airlines will be adding two daily flights from Bismarck to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, beginning in June.
United already flies between Bismarck and Denver.
"What it means for this business community is more options," said Bismarck-Mandan Chamber president and Bismarck-Mandan Development Association president Brian Ritter. "Not everyone flies the same. Any time there's more options, we all win."
Ritter said for a city of Bismarck’s size, it has very good air service. Five carriers – United, Delta, American, Allegiant and Frontier – serve the city.
"We are a regional hub," Ritter said. "For a market our size to have that many options for Bismarck, western North Dakota and northern South Dakota, that's a tremendous advantage."
Ritter said it used to be that Bismarck-Mandan residents and business people would drive to other airports to find the best connection or the best prices.
"If we can keep those people here and flying out of Bismarck-Mandan, and we can show groing numbers, all that does is improve our profile as a destination, and attract more carriers," Ritter said.
The Bismarck airport has seen a 70 percent increase in passenger boardings over the past 10 years.