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International airlines have new incentives to create direct routes to Atlanta

With the plan in motion to create more international routes to Atlanta, this could mean a shorter trip for Georgia State students who are studying abroad.

Officials at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport have plans to request a five year incentive program to start new international routes to Atlanta, according to the AJC.

These benefits would include waiving landing fees for airlines that have not previously had a route to Atlanta for a year, passenger airlines could receive 50 percent matching promotional funds of up to $25,000 and cargo carriers could also get waivers of cargo parking fees.

The incentives keep going up for carrier flights to Africa, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia who could get fees waved for 18 months. Priority markets, Brazil, India, Russia, Indonesia, China and South Africa will get two years of no fees and promotional funding for passenger flights.

Among the major concerns for students when planning out study abroad trips are the logistics of costs, taking transfer flights and safety during their travels.

Jermaine Smith, member of the International Student Association and Jamaica native, said he thinks this new plan for incentives will be a positive thing.

“More people will have an incentive to travel both in and out of the country. It will increase knowledge of other cultures and raise tolerance as well,” Smith said. “For me as an international student, traveling is a big issue. I have my obligations to the school and with my academics as well as my work to sustain my life here. If trips were more affordable and accessible, it would make it much easier for me to keep in touch with friends and family back home.”

Administrative Assistant and Georgia State Alumni Cristina Roman said the new plans would have little impact on the individual student unless it lowered plane ticket prices.

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“For students already planning to study abroad, it might not affect them too much since they were already planing on making the trip despite the airplane routes and costs of the trip,” Roman said. “For students who were still on the fence about traveling, if this new incentive plan lowers plane tickets, that might play a role in students’ decisions about going to study abroad.”

Georgia State offers over 60 study abroad programs and most recently extended their reach to over 500 students.