Airline returns to Columbus Airport

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Columbus Airport is picking up a new airline, offering flights to the west coast and internationally.

The Columbus Airport just went through re-branding and now they're drawing in more business. Several changes are coming to the Columbus Airport, and with that more airlines are signing on to provide flights. American Eagle Airlines has returned to the valley.

Columbus Airport Director Mark Oropeza told News Leader, "The announcement today of American returning to our market is great news! They were here 15 years ago and left and it's taken us that long to get them back."

A re-occurring problem is travelers driving to Atlanta to get flights, but this new airline will help keep them in Columbus.

"It gives us additional air service but more importantly it gives us additional air service to a place other than Atlanta and now you can go to Dallas as a destination. You can use Dallas as a hub to transfer to the west coast or internationally, Japan as an example," Oropeza said.

The President and CEO of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Mike Gaymon, added, "Transportation is important. To get in to a city and to get out of a city is an important part of economic development. We're excited about it. Two flights to Dallas and we think there will be more. We have to fill up these planes, make sure people are flying so we can get more."

The charter flight room on the second floor of the airport will act as the new home for American Eagle flights.

Airport Commission Chair Sherry Goodrum explained, "What we're going to do is make sure the upstairs is suitable for the passengers. They will still come through TSA like they do now for ASA flights, so none of that will change. It will just be getting people used to coming upstairs. We know our jet bridge works, we just used it for Honor Flight. It really should not be too much trouble for us to get prepared to launch the service."

Starting July 15th, the American Eagle flights will travel non-stop to Dallas/Fort Worth twice daily. Travelers will then be able to connect to destinations all over the globe.

This is huge for people looking to fly in the area, and hopefully it will keep more people in Columbus when planning their trips.

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