ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport now has a direct flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, with American Airlines.

The service officially began Saturday, Dec. 22, and will continue with weekly Saturday round trips between Ithaca and the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Service is expected to expand as new gates under construction in Charlotte come online, a news release said.

In a news release, Airport Director Mike Hall said the new service is a “tremendous boost to our connectivity.” He also said the airport offers high reliability, like Detroit and Washington. Charlotte offers many connections south, including to Florida, the Caribbean, and South America. It also offers 674 daily flights that serve 160 destinations in 25 countries.

Photos: What the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport will look like

Related: United Airlines to add third flight connecting Ithaca to Washington, D.C.

Interested in local flight reliability? The Ithaca Voice recently looked at data from Ithaca, Elmira and Syracuse airports to see how flight reliability compared across hubs with connections in 2018, including Detroit, Philadelphia, Newark and Washington, D.C. Read more here.

Meanwhile, renovations at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport are underway. In October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local officials broke ground on the $24.7 million redevelopment project that is moving fast. The project, which includes expanding the terminal, adding six new gates and three passenger bridges, plus security enhancements, must be completed by the end of 2019.

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.