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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- It's cheaper to fly to Atlanta than drive -- at least for now.
Southwest Airlines marked new non-stop service Monday from Louisville to Atlanta. The airline will offer three non-stop flights each day, with tickets currently costing less than $100 round trip.
As Julie Adams of Southwest Airlines Customer Service explains, "It's a market traveled for both business and pleasure, and it's going to be a boost to air travel in this area."
Officials wouldn't say how long that promotion would last or what the regular fare will be. It's thought new competition in the market will drive down prices on the route, which had ranged between $400 and $800 on Delta.
96 passengers were on board Monday morning's flight. Many passengers did not know it was the official launch. In an industry marred by unpopular fees and skyrocketing costs, Bob Bartek was just happy to get a cheap ticket: "I've been waiting for this for years. I used to have to drive from Birmingham to Atlanta in order to get a reasonable flight to Louisville where I do business every other week. And as a result, I have been looking for Southwest Air to come up here. I was on the first flight out yesterday morning and now I am on the first flight back and I will be back every other week."
Vision Airlines offered service to Atlanta last year and it failed to take off. Airport leaders say Southwest is a much larger company and more sustainable.
The airport now offers non-stop service to 25 cities throughout the United States -- eight of those are serviced by Southwest.
The airline plans to add a ninth non-stop route to Denver this November.