LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A few months ago, American Airlines dropped flights in fifteen U.S. cities, including Lake Charles, but it’s making a comeback.
The percentage of people traveling by plane still isn’t what it was before the pandemic.
Executive Director for the Lake Charles Regional Airport Heath Allen says the Lake Area is a bit of a unique case.
“Because of the hurricanes, we’ve had pretty strong demand with the travel that we’ve had with United simply because we do have a lot of people coming in and out of the city. Be it adjusters, workers, and that sort of thing that are coming back in the recovery.”
High demand for flights with only one airline can be difficult. That’s why they’re excited to welcome American Airlines back to Lake Charles.
“I do think it’s important to have that capacity back. We’re going to go from having 100 seats leaving the market daily to 250 seats. So, more than double.”
Allen says this was always meant to simply be a pause in service and the airline intended to resume its flights.
But Mayor Nic Hunter says he believes the airline shouldn’t have left to begin with.
“It’s good news and I think it’s righting a wrong that they left in the first place. I believe they will see that their ridership will be very, very constant out of Lake Charles Airport. So, we’re happy to have them back. We hope that we don’t have to go through this again because people deserve options.”
Allen says having air service in Lake Charles is critical for business and individuals traveling in and out of Southwest Louisiana.
“Having air service in your community, it’s a game changer when you talk about economy, when you talk about competing against the other markets for jobs for companies to locate in your community. So, having that connectivity to the National Air Transportation System is just absolutely critical.”