The Indianapolis International Airport will have direct flights to Paris through Delta Airlines beginning May 24, 2018.
Delta has agreed to offer at least three flights a week.
Holcomb received $30 million in the state’s two-year budget for economic development efforts, which he was allowed to use to help lure the direct European flight line to Indianapolis.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation will provide Delta up to $5.5 million in conditional incentives over the next two years for the Paris flight.
Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger says the condition is whether or not Delta can fill the planes.
“I will tell you, without question, this entire endeavor was about business and economic development,” Schellinger says.
Schellinger says that consideration drove the decision to fly to Paris, instead of London or Amsterdam. There are more connecting flights at Paris’s Charles De Gaulle Airport, and it’s already the destination of GE’s cargo flights.
Holcomb says the deal with Delta is just the first for Indiana.
“When businesses are looking to invest and grow their marketshare, they go where folks are investing in themselves,” Holcomb says.
Holcomb says he disagrees with a characterization that the deal amounted to state government “subsidizing” a private company. He says he prefers the term “incentivizing.”
Holcomb says regional airports in South Bend, Gary, Evansville and Fort Wayne should expect future investment.
Tickets for Delta’s Indianapolis to Paris service go on sale beginning Sept. 23.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.