First nonstop flight to LA departs from Louisville

The first commercial flight from Louisville to Los Angeles took off Wednesday morning.
Updated: Apr. 3, 2019 at 1:11 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the first time, a commercial flight has taken off from Louisville and landed in Los Angeles.

American Airlines flight 2050 took off from Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport at 7:42 a.m. on Wednesday.

Whether it was for fun or for work, the passengers have been eager to get things off the ground for a while.

“Clearly, area travelers, whether for business or leisure, have an interest to go to the west coast,” airport spokesperson Natalie Chaudoin said. “And they want to go, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide this option.”

The airport rolled out the red carpet, giving passengers the real Hollywood experience.

“We’re blown away by it,” Anthony Parker, who is traveling to Hawaii, said. “I didn’t know this was going to be such a big deal. It’s incredibly convenient for us, especially connecting out to where we’re going.”

For some people, this flight isn’t only a stop along the way; it’s a destination.

“It’s the difference of four hours versus a whole day,” passenger Joan Perkins said. “And maybe (it eliminates) the risk that you’d be hung up in Atlanta or Charlotte or Dallas or Houston or Denver or Chicago.”

Joan and her husband George are visiting their daughter and grandchild in Los Angeles.

“Now if (my daughter’s) got a three-day break, she can fly and see us,” Perkins added.

City officials are hopeful the flight could bring Louisville to new heights economically, and do it through the aptly named airport.

“Muhammad Ali, our native son, brought Louisville to the World, and today with this new direct flight to LAX, we’re going to introduce a lot more people to Louisville,” Louisville Forward Chief Mary Ellen Wiederwohl said.

The non-stop return flights back to Louisville will leave Los Angeles before 11 p.m. and return to Louisville around 6 a.m.

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