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Connections made

Very impressive. And they landed Philadelphia, too.

When local, regional and state officials put together a $2.5 million incentive package to persuade an airline company to add a major connection to the offerings at Fort Wayne International Airport, the goal was a direct flight either to Philadelphia or Newark, N.J.

The use of Legacy funds raised some eyebrows, but no one disputed that an Eastern Seaboard connection would be an economic development coup.

The surprise in Monday’s announcement was that American Airlines will add flights not just to Philadelphia International Airport, but to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, as well.

Philadelphia indeed offers invaluable connections to the East Coast’s biggest cities, and beyond.

Charlotte, a fast-growing southeastern hub for American, was last year the eighth-busiest airport for domestic and international passengers in North America, ahead of Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, Houston, Toronto, Orlando, Newark, Seattle, Minneapolis, Detroit – and Philadelphia, which was 19th on the list. Indianapolis was 50th.