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Small cities losing airline service

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saxman

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American just announced cuts to 15 cities beginning in October. Until 2019 it looked like small airports would stick around as record people were flying. Longer and longer "skinny" flights were appearing now that larger and more comfortable regional jets are the norm. Airports like Worchester, MA had just opened up to new service as well as flights like DFW to Portland, Maine were set to start. This would be a good opportunity for Amtrak to pounce on some add campaigns. They won't though.

We should also note that none of these are EAS cities. So while much smaller cities will still get government assistance to have airline service, many of these are totally without service anymore. Perhaps the EAS program should be looked at again? I know that's always a contentious debate on here.

American is leaving the following: (*denotes Amtrak city) (+denotes cities losing all airline service)
Aspen, CO (ASE)
*Del Rio, TX (DRT)+
Dubuque, IA (DBQ)+
*Florence, SC (FLO)+
Greenville, NC (PGV)+
Huntington, WV (HTS)
Joplin, MO (JLN)+
*Kalamazoo, MI (AZO)
*Lake Charles, LA (LCH)
*New Haven, CT (HVN)+
Newburgh, NY (SWF)
Roswell, NM (ROW)+
Sioux City, IA (SUX)+
*Springfield, IL (SPI)
Sillwater, OK (SWO)+
Williamsport, PA (IPT)+
*Worcester, MA (ORH)

Some of these cities are still served by other airlines, while other won't be. Del Rio seems to gain and lose service all the time, and is very far away from its closest airport.

Back in July Delta pulled out of 11 cities, however they are all served by other airlines:
Aspen, CO (ASE)
Bangor, ME (BGR)
*Erie, PA (ERI)
*Flint, MI (FNT)
Fort Smith, AR (FSM)
*Lincoln, NE (LNK)
New Bern/Morehead/Beaufort, NC (EWN)
Peoria, IL (PIA)
*Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA (AVP)
*Williston, ND (XWA)

I couldn't find much on United, but they have already left *Kalamazoo and Myrtle Beach, among a few others.
 
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SarahZ

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May 8, 2011
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KAL
This leaves Kalamazoo with just Delta.

AZO is primarily used by business travelers. The rest of us almost always drive to Grand Rapids, Detroit, or Chicago.
 

jebr

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A small correction to the list: while SUX is losing AA service, they're (at least last I checked) gaining United service to DEN on Oct. 14. There'll be about a week between the end of AA service and the start of UA service. (The transition wasn't expected; when the UA flight was announced AA was still planning on having their ORD and DFW flights as well.)
 

Exvalley

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I've never understood why New Haven was not more popular. It sure beats the drive into New York City. I guess one problem is that Bradley in Windsor Locks is not too far away.
 

Devil's Advocate

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AA previously stated this was a temporary withdrawal whereas it sounds like you're saying these are permanent reductions. It looks like they were only keeping them until the bailout restrictions expired. Then again I wonder how many people who have visited places like Del Rio, TX and Roswell, NM felt that their economic situation warranted routine commercial airline service.
 
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sttom

Lead Service Attendant
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Jan 23, 2019
Messages
498
Sadly airlines have been cutting service to isolated towns and secondary cities for a long time. I know Jet Blue announced late in 2019 that they were going to cease all service to Oakland, CA sometime this year, which probably got stepped up due to the pandemic. Providing life line service is expensive and is something the market just does not want to provide. And the only profitable parts are flying from hub to hub with a few supplemental flights between secondary airports and other hubs. I just wonder what is going to replace the airline connections in these rural areas, its not going to be buses. They've been cutting service to rural areas for years now and Amtrak frankly doesn't have the money and Congress has been trying to cut the Essential Air Service for years now.
 

Michigan Mom

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Jan 28, 2012
Messages
665
Location
MI
Some of these smaller airports had another function, provided they have a long enough runway and other infrastructure; serving as a weather alternate. If weather is advancing on Chicago from the West, the carriers can divert flights into GRR, AZO and provide ground transport to ORD if the flight ends up terminating. AZO is close to GRR and smaller volume so if a choice had to be made, I can see why.
 

Dakota 400

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Mar 5, 2014
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Some of these smaller airports had another function, provided they have a long enough runway and other infrastructure; serving as a weather alternate. If weather is advancing on Chicago from the West, the carriers can divert flights into GRR, AZO and provide ground transport to ORD if the flight ends up terminating. AZO is close to GRR and smaller volume so if a choice had to be made, I can see why.
You are correct. Over the years, DAY has had some "unexpected" arrivals by large aircraft due to its being an alternate airport when the primary one was not available.

It was a Charter flight that was planned to depart from DAY, but our airport even hosted a Concorde once.
 
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