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Officials gathered October 4th at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport to ceremonially cut the ribbon and celebrate the start of direct, non-stop air service between Ithaca and Washington/Dulles Airport via United Airlines.

The first United flight from Dulles arrived at 1:45 p.m. – the first flight of two roundtrips per day that will travel between Ithaca and United's D.C. hub.

Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce president Jennifer Tavares, representing both the Chamber and the County's Air Service Board, said the new Washington service is an important step forward for this community and a key element for the area's economy, noting that the Chamber has strongly advocated for and supported local air service since 1950. Both Tavares and Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson recognized Airport Director Mike Hall for his initiative, vision, and hard work that helped lead to this new service. Tavares characterized as "remarkable" the progress that has been made regarding the Airport over the past four or five years.

Chair Robertson remarked that today marks the beginning of a 'wonderful opportunity', noting that the new Washington service will link those in this global community not only to Washington, but to the rest of the world. And she pointed out that today's inaugural flight returning to Dulles was already overbooked, something she maintained marks a positive sign of things to come. The Airport's goal is to expand Ithaca-to-Dulles service to four round-trips per day.

Jill Kaplan, United's regional president of New York-New Jersey operations, said United is delighted to welcome Ithaca to Dulles and its system of hubs, praising this area as a growing, vibrant community.

"As you grow, we will like to be able to grow with you," she said.

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