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Companies Back RDU Ad Campaign To Convince Folks To Fly Again


Raleigh-Durham International Airport is trying to convince people to fly again. Major companies in the Triangle are helping pay for the airport's newest ad campaign.

The coalition is betting that if demand rebounds then airlines will restore non-stop routes.

Chad Henry is a vice president with Novo Nordisk, one of the business sponsors of the campaign. At a news conference Monday, he touted the airport's significance to the region.

“It's valuable to our region, it's valuable to our business,” Henry said. “And we must preserve and regain the confidence in global connectivity in order to thrive.”

An ad posted to social media on Monday from "Triangle Takeoff" featured Duke head men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, NC Courage striker Jessica McDonald, employees from Novo Nordisk, Lenovo and other companies.

International flights from RDU were totally grounded for eight months last year until JetBlue started flying to Cancun, Mexico, and Montego Bay, Jamaica in November.

Before the pandemic, RDU's star was rising. More than 14 million passengers traveled through the airport in 2019, which was a record.

Elsewhere, the N.C. Board of Transportation has approved state funds totaling more than $4 million for projects that help improve safety and customer service at seven airports across the state.

The board awarded the money last month and announced them on Monday. The awards range from $90,000 for the design and bid of an airfield drainage system assessment at Duplin County Airport in Kenansville, to $2.3 million for land acquisition in the runway protection zone at Moore County Airport in Carthage. The funds awarded will be distributed by the NCDOT Division of Aviation.

WUNC's Mitchell Northam contributed to this report.

Associated Press
Cole del Charco is an audio producer and writer based in Durham. He's made stories for public radio's All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Marketplace. Before joining Due South, he spent time as a freelance journalist, an education and daily news reporter for WUNC, and a podcast producer for WFAE in Charlotte.
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