TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – The COVID-19 pandemic is causing more flight cancellations at Texarkana Regional Airport.
Executive Director Ferdinand Paul Mehrlich said as of April 1, American Airlines will no longer offer flights on Wednesday. Officials said that’s typically a slower day of the week, and they want to make sure that flights stay profitable during this slow time. Fewer TSA hours at the facility also played a role, according to Mehrlich.
The daily outbound 2 p.m. flight has also been cancelled. That leaves the facility with two American Airlines departures per day, and three incoming American Airlines flights per day, with the exception of Wednesday.
Earlier this month, the airline said it was considering ending service to some small airports. Mehrlich said he remains optimistic about keeping the airline in Texarkana. “We’re talking to American Airlines, we want to make sure we’re being a good partner to them, because we understand what they’re going through. We’ve even reached out to them and offered space here at the airport. We understand they’re having difficulties finding places to put all their airplanes, and so we’ve opened our airport as a potential place if they need to.”
Mehrlich said that four employees have been laid off due to budget cuts caused by the pandemic. However, plans for a new terminal by 2024 are still on track because that money was set aside by the FAA years in advance.