ST. CLOUD -- Business leaders and local investors met at the St. Cloud Library Friday morning to discuss the benefits of twice-daily flights from St. Cloud to Chicago.

The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation invited United Airlines sales director Steve Ross to speak about the advantages for local business travelers.

Ross says travelers will have greater convenience, choice and save on costs. St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says parking at the St. Cloud Airport will continue to be free. The airline is working on coming out with a program that would match the Frequent Flyer program.

United Airlines is the second biggest airline in the country. Ross says business travelers are critical to the success of the flights. The airline hopes to attract 25,000 to 30,000 passengers this year in order to break even in costs.

Chicago's O'Hare Airport has added automatic passport controls. Ross says the airport has essentially taken a two hour process and turned it into a five minute process.

They've also made some capital improvements by adding jet bridges to eliminate the need to walk outside in inclement weather.

The inaugural flight from St. Cloud to Chicago is set for May 6th.