- United Airlines adds a new route from the small town of Texarkana to Houston.
- The route will be funded by a federal grant from the Department of Transportation.
- The airport hopes the route’s strategic schedule will allow people to fly to Houston for work and be back for dinner.
After dropping 11 cities since early November, United Airlines is adding a new small town to its network.
United Airlines’ subsidiary CommutAir will launch a new route to Texarkana Regional Airport on February 13, which will serve the city on the Texas-Arkansas border. United Express flights will operate once daily between Texarkana and Houston using a 50-seater Embraer 145, according to the airport. The move comes after United cut back on a handful of small markets due to unsustainability and low demand.
Service to Texarkana is new, even though it was not originally United’s plan. According to The Points Guy, the Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program awarded the airport a grant of $ 884,722 to fund the operation. The one-year federal contract will be a test to see if the flights work and ensure United do not lose money on the route even if the plane is not full, according to KSLA News 12, a CBS-affiliated local news station.
“We are ecstatic to officially add Houston to our route network and provide more travel opportunities for our community,” Texarkana Airport Director Paul Merlich said in a statement. “Houston is a unique and exciting destination for local residents to enjoy, and we are confident that our community will support this new route in a way that will ensure its long-term success.”
The plane will depart from Texarkana at approximately 7 in the morning and return approximately at. 19:25, according to the airport.
“During the year, we seek to increase the number of people flying from our airport to 10,000 people,” Merlich told KSLA. “That means a person could potentially fly down to Houston in the morning, work an eight-hour day and fly home and be home in time for dinner.”
Officials in Texarkana have high hopes for the airport with the construction of a brand new terminal and United’s future service.
“When the new terminal comes and the airline comes back, this is kind of the start of a rebirth of our airport, and we hope it will wave out to the whole community,” Merlich said.
In addition to United’s new route to Texarkana, American Airlines also serves the small town. The Texas-based carrier operates up to four daily flights between the community and its Dallas-Fort Worth hub. While American retains its activities in Texarkana, it has cut other low-demand markets during the pandemic.
In September 2021, the Hartford Courant reported that the airline dropped flights to New Haven, Connecticut, leaving the airport without commercial air traffic until Avelo Airlines entered the market on November 3rd. Meanwhile, Williamsport, Pennsylvania also lost its daily American route in September. from Philadelphia, according to ABC affiliate news station WNEP 16.