Local, state, and federal elected officials joined Massport and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to launch a new Delta Air Lines service between Worcester and Detroit.

The new service at Worcester Regional Airport (ORH) allows residents and businesses in Central Massachusetts to connect to over 130 destinations worldwide through Delta’s Detroit hub.

Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) said that 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. 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.”

Delta’s Worcester-Detroit service becomes the 5th daily roundtrip service and 3rd hub airport from Worcester. JetBlue offers flights to New York’s JFK International Airport, Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, and Orlando International Airport, while American Airlines flies to Philadelphia International Airport.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said, “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. 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.

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.

Massport CEO Lisa Wieland said, “We are committed to provide the residents and businesses in Worcester and Central Massachusetts with an efficient, affordable, and safe airport. 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.

Delta’s Director – New England Sales Charlie Schewe said, “We look forward to bringing another way for our Worcester and Central Massachusetts customers to connect to the world through our extensive global network. 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.

Worcester Regional Chamber President Tim Murray said, “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, 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.