New service connects Worcester to Detroit and over 130 Delta destinations around the world
WORCESTER – Local, state, and federal elected officials joined Massport and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce in a celebration to kick off Delta Air Lines’ service to Worcester Regional Airport (ORH). The new service allows residents and businesses in Central Massachusetts to connect to over 130 destinations worldwide through Delta’s Detroit hub.
“I am so excited to see Delta Air Lines’ first plane to Detroit arrive in Worcester this week. Worcester Regional Airport continues to serve as a catalyst for economic growth here in Worcester and bring millions of dollars-worth of new opportunities to businesses and travelers throughout our region,” said Congressman James McGovern (D-MA). “I am so grateful to Massport and to our entire team of local, state, and federal partners who have worked so hard to make this day a reality.”
Beginning today, Delta is providing the 5
th daily roundtrip service and 3 rd hub airport from Worcester, with their flight to Detroit. JetBlue offers flights to New York’s JFK International Airport, Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, and Orlando International Airport, and American Airlines flies to Philadelphia International Airport.
“I am pleased to celebrate Delta’s new service to Detroit from Worcester Regional Airport and look forward to seeing its continued impact on the local economy in Central Massachusetts,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “The continued progress and development made through this partnership with Delta Air Lines will allow the region further growth as a transportation hub.”
Over the past 9 years, the passenger volume at ORH has more than doubled. In FY2019, which ended in June, Worcester Airport served nearly 170,000 passengers. Earlier this year, Massport launched a $300,000 marketing campaign with a goal to increase the passenger volume to 400,000 annually within the next five years. The campaign includes billboards, radio, and social media ads intended to drive awareness about the airport’s ease of use, affordable parking options, connections and flight offerings that can benefit business commuters and leisure travelers.
“This is another big step in the revitalization of Worcester Regional Airport. The Delta flights add more than just a destination, they open up the mid-west and west for the region's business and leisure traveler,” said Massport Board Chairman and Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis.
Since Massport took ownership of the airport in 2010, the Authority has invested more than $100 million in improvements, including in a Category III Instrument Landing System, completed in 2018. Starting this week, two new jet bridges are being installed, doubling the number to 4. These investments will allow ORH to accommodate more flights and serve more passengers.
“We are committed to provide the residents and businesses in Worcester and Central Massachusetts with an efficient, affordable, and safe airport,” said incoming Massport CEO Lisa Wieland. “We thank Congressman McGovern, the Baker-Polito Administration, the city leaders in Worcester, and other elected officials for their unwavering support. We urge our customers and partners in the business community to be our ambassadors to encourage others to fly Worcester.”
Delta has a longstanding commitment to Massachusetts that goes beyond their work at the airport. Since announcing its service to Worcester last year, Delta has given back to the communities they serve and has supported a range of organizations throughout the state. In June, the company awarded more than a dozen valedictorians from Worcester, Auburn, Grafton, Leicester, Millbury, Shrewsbury, and West Boylston with roundtrip tickets from ORH to any Delta destination in the continental U.S.
“We look forward to bringing another way for our Worcester and Central Massachusetts customers to connect to the world through our extensive global network,” said Charlie Schewe, Delta’s Director - New England Sales. “Our Detroit hub has dozens of easy one-stop connecting opportunities to flights across the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America and Europe.”
Worcester Airport has been a catalyst for economic activity in Central Massachusetts. According to a study released this year by the MassDOT Aeronautics Division, the economic output of Worcester Regional Airport nearly doubled from $46.4M to $96.7M, from 2013 to 2017. The number of jobs linked to airport activities also grew from 358 to nearly 600 during the same period.
“As the City of Worcester continues to grow and thrive, so does the Worcester Regional Airport,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “With the addition of Delta flights to Detroit, travelers from Worcester will be able to connect with the western United States as well as destinations across the world. This is another win for the City of Worcester and we applaud the efforts of Congressman McGovern and the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support of our airport.”
“This is another exciting announcement for the City of Worcester and I want to thank Delta for seeing the possibilities that the City of Worcester can offer to those corporations with an eye to the future. We know that this can be viable and vibrant addition to our city’s transportation portfolio and a cornerstone of our economic development,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “I want to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and Congressman Jim McGovern for their continued belief in a successful Worcester Airport.”
“We are excited that Delta is expanding service into Worcester Regional Airport. Convenience and connections is what this new service is all about,” said Worcester Regional Chamber President Tim Murray. “Daily service between Worcester and Detroit will provide people from Central Mass with connections all over North America as well as to all of Asia. Moreover, Detroit Metropolitan Airport has been recognized as a passenger friendly airport for business and leisure travelers alike.”
During a reception at the Worcester Art Museum last night, a cultural connection between Worcester and Detroit was highlighted. As a symbolic gesture of friendship to Michigan’s biggest city, the Worcester Art Museum announced that one of its French masterpieces, “The Brooding Woman” by Paul Gauguin, will travel to the Detroit Institute of Arts next spring. In return, the Detroit museum will loan Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Postman” to the Worcester museum. The Worcester Art Museum is also offering free admission to all ORH passengers with a Delta boarding pass for trips to and from Detroit during the month of August.
Known as the Motor City, Detroit is home to several large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, including General Motors and DTE Energy. It is also home to the luxury design brand Shinola. To commemorate Delta’s inaugural celebration in Worcester, Shinola presented Delta with a wall clock in honor of the airline’s on-time performance.
“On behalf of everyone at Shinola, we’d like to thank the Massachusetts Port Authority, the Worcester Regional Airport, and our friends at Delta Airlines for making us a small part of this special evening,” said Tom Lewand, CEO of Shinola. “We in Detroit are proud of our manufacturing heritage, like I know the people of Worcester are as well. We feel like we share a bit of a common bond with the area in that sense, and I know full well the value of the heart of the Commonwealth. We hope our friends in Worcester take advantage of this new direct route and come visit us in Detroit, and we pledge that Detroiters will reciprocate. We’re so grateful to Delta for hanging one of our Runwell Clocks in the terminal, and we look forward to enhancing the great relationship that already exists between our friends in Massachusetts and in Detroit.”
Shinola’s Runwell clock will be on display at Worcester Airport.