Dallas/Fort Worth air service finally a reality for Tri-Cities

Hank Hayes • Apr 11, 2019 at 8:30 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — For years, surveys done by Tri-Cities Airport identified either Chicago or Dallas/Fort Worth as opportunities to get new air service.

American Airlines service to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) was announced Thursday and will begin Sept. 4. The new service will be twice daily and available for booking starting April 15.

American, said airport Executive Director Gene Cossey, will start out using a 44-seat regional jet, similar to the ones the airline flies into Charlotte now.

When asked about the fare prices, Cossey responded: “I do anticipate this will drive the average fares down a little bit. I always encourage people to check early and often because times are flexible and seats are expensive.”

Bell Helicopter, which has a service center in Piney Flats, is headquartered in Fort Worth, but airport officials don’t know how that factored into American’s decision.

“We have always mentioned Bell in our DFW discussions with American, but we don’t know if/how much impact that had on the decision for this route,” said Kristi Haulsee, the airport’s marketing and air service development director.

Gossey pointed out the Dallas flight will give our region access to 84 additional one-stop routes currently not available.

“Our community has been asking for this flight for some time and we are so pleased that American Airlines has chosen to add daily jet service to DFW,” said Jon Smith, Tri-Cities Airport Authority chairman. “The Tri-Cities region will now have direct access to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and beyond for work or leisure. Additional service connects people and economies, making this region an even better place to live, work, and play.”

Flights can be booked on the airport’s booking engine or directly with American at www.aa.com.

Tri-Cities Airport has American service to Charlotte, Delta service to Atlanta and Allegiant Air service to Florida.

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