JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The executive director of the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport is warning air travelers that airline service at the airport could be reduced or lost altogether if people don’t use it.
Tom Heanue announced this week that American Airlines will discontinue daily flights from the Pine Belt to Chicago, because of low boardings.
Those flights made stops in Meridian.
Instead, beginning Sept. 4, the airline will offer two daily direct flights to Dallas/Fort Worth only.
But, Heanue says that service could be in jeopardy, if travelers don’t fill the planes.
“When this starts in September, we’ve probably got about eight or nine months to show that we can put good numbers on the airplane,” Heanue said. “And at that time, when (the airline) bid process comes around again, if they don’t think it’s worth the the market to stay in it, they just won’t bid and if they don’t bid, then we’ll be looking for somebody who may, and we may get smaller service somewhere or we may not get any service.”
Airline service to Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport is federally subsidized and airlines bid to provide that service.
American Airlines began offering flights from the Pine Belt to both Chicago and Dallas about two years ago.