MISSOULA- It was a celebratory day at Missoula International Airport as new direct flights started.
American Airlines started service to the Garden City this morning with the first non-stop flight from Dallas.
The arrival was heralded with two fire engines spraying a massive water cannon salute over the plane while it taxied into the runway. Officials said water cannons are a tradition in the aviation industry.
United Airlines also started its non-stop summer service from MSO today. Those flights are to Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Denver.
Billy Glunz, director of government affairs for American Airlines, says adding a new dot on the map is an in-depth and long process. He says they look at growth and potential when adding new services, and he sees that potential here in Missoula.
"Missoula obviously has a heavy tourism industry, so getting folks to come into Missoula, as well as the business development side. For corporations looking to relocate or grow their businesses, air service is a big deal."