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American Airlines considers ending service to small airports, including Texarkana Regional Airport


TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) -American Airlines is considering ending service to small airports across the nation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Texarkana Regional Airport.

According to officials, American Airlines must cut costs at the airline “severely”.

The Texarkana Regional Airport Authority met with the Executive Director on Wednesday morning to approve the suspension of rent and landing fees for American Airlines.

To keep commercial service at TXK Regional, airport officials and American Airlines agreed to forgo charging any rent or landing fees until the end of July, 2020.

The Executive Director, Paul Mehrlich, says the airport was in the process of renegotiating the American Airlines lease, but that process will be on hold until August.

“This is really happening because the airlines need access to smaller aircraft that they can use on popular routes to make sure those airlines stay full during this time when they are reducing. By doing this it will help to make sure that the airlines stay here and continues to operate normally,” said Mehrlich.

The director says losing all commercial service to the airport would be devastating as they try to keep plans for a new terminal on track.

According to the director, the airport is expected to lose $31,737 in total.

Officials say they have a contingency fund that will cover the loss, including monies from parking. According to officials, this will not have any impact on the city’s budget.

A hiring freeze has also been set in place until August.

According to the director, they are following CDC guidelines when it comes to keeping the airport clean. Extra hand sanitizer has been added at the passenger terminal and anti-viral chemicals will be sprayed during nightly cleanings.

Officials emphasize the facility is open for business and will continue operating on a regular schedule of three flights a day.

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