STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – American Airlines says it has reversed its decision to drop flights to a regional airport in Oklahoma.
Last month, American Airlines announced that it was planning to drop flights to 15 smaller U.S. cities in October when a federal requirement to serve those communities ends.
The airline blamed low demand during the coronavirus pandemic, which has triggered a massive slump in air travel. Airlines and their labor unions are seeking billions in taxpayer relief.
“This is the first step as American continues to evaluate its network and plans for additional schedule changes in the coming weeks,” the airline said in a prepared statement.
Initially, flights from Stillwater Regional Airport were going to be affected by the move.
After receiving the news that flights from Stillwater would be suspended, organizers say many people reached out to members in Congress and urged them to continue to provide financial relief for the aviation industry.
“Commercial air service is an incredible asset for the City of Stillwater and we are all very thankful to have such a supportive community,” Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce said. “It has really made a difference.”
After several weeks, representatives from American Airlines reached out to the airport’s administration about how they could preserve air service.
“We have shown American Airlines that we truly value their partnership and, by agreeing to work with us on our upcoming flight schedule, American Airlines has shown us that they value our partnership as well,” said Stillwater Regional Airport Director Paul Priegel.
Priegel says that members of the community need to show their support for the airline.
“The main thing our community can do to help preserve our air service now and beyond is to show American Airlines that we need our flights,” Priegel said. “If you’re planning on traveling for the holidays, now’s the time to book. Rates are at an all-time low and American Airlines is offering more flexibility than ever before to help passengers book confidently.”
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