American Airlines to Add Service Between Springfield And Charlotte
Springfield-Branson National Airport says by November travelers can choose from an average of 25 daily departures to major hubs throughout the U.S. That’s thanks to a deal announced Thursday that adds Charlotte, North Carolina to the airport’s list of large city destinations.
The non-stop service will be offered American Airlines, whose connecting flights from Charlotte will also allow for international connectivity to destinations such as London, Paris, and Dublin.
Brian Weiler, director of the Springfield-Branson National Airport, credits the new service to the region’s growing economy.
“The airline industry… you really have to come to them with hard facts, you have to be able to demonstrate that there is demand. So this new Charlotte route is major. It's been something that us and the business community have been working on for over a year,” Weiler said.
And with an improved economy comes better airport traffic at SGF, which has experienced growth for 17 consecutive months and in 2014 had 90,000 more passengers fly in and out then the previous year. Additionally, year-to-date 12,000 more passengers have flown into SGF compared to 2014 numbers.
“Airline demand is really a reflection of the local economy. Because we can have the best airline service in the world but if you don’t have a business reason or money in your pocket to fly it makes no difference.”
Springfield Mayor Bob Stephens it’s very much a “symbiotic kind of relationship” between the airport and city.
“Because we are doing things with the city in conjunction and in collaboration with the Springfield Business Development Corporation to do two things; to bring new companies into our area – new jobs – but also to help existing companies grow jobs,” said Stephens.
Officials say the new Charlotte service will increase the number of airline seats in the local market by 36,000 annually.
The Charlotte-Douglas International Airport currently has over 145 direct domestic and international destinations. The airport is American Airlines’ second largest North American hub when measured by departing seats.
Springfield-Branson National Airport currently offers non-stop service to major hubs like Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Denver. In addition to American Airlines, the airport receives commercial passenger service from Allegiant, Delta, and United.
Flights from Springfield to Charlotte begin November 5. Tickets go on sale Sunday, July 5 and can be purchased through www.aa.com.