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Inaugural United Express Flight Lands at Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport

Erin Gottsacker/WXPR

At the Rhinelander-Oneida County airport, a short line forms behind a security checkpoint.

The travelers go through a series of standard pre-flight procedures.

But the flight they’re about to go on is anything but standard.

It’s the first ever United Express flight between Chicago and Rhinelander.

Until this week, the only flights out of the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport were Delta flights through Minneapolis.

But Thursday morning a United Express plane flew into the airport.

It’s a new daily service to and from Chicago this summer.

Airport Director Matthew Leitner says that’s a big deal for Northwoods visitors.

“These people are going to their wedding, they’re going on their honeymoon, they’re going to an important business meeting, a job interview,” he said. “That’s why this airport exists, and with this new service, we’re enhancing that connection. We’re furthering it.”

The extra flight is more than a convenience though.

By bringing thousands of visitors to the area, it’s expected to add a million dollars to the local economy this summer alone.

Chicago is the biggest source of visitors to the Northwoods.

The flights are already 70 percent full for the rest of the month.

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