American Airlines said Monday that it plans to start daily nonstop service to Grand Rapids, Mich., and Evansville and Fort Wayne, Ind., under the US Airways Express banner, adding to the merged airlines reach into the Midwest from Charlotte.
The service comes after American said in February it will start flying nonstop from Charlotte to Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., in July. In January, executives said they were planning to add new dots on the map from Charlotte in the Midwest.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport is the combined airlines second-busiest hub, after Dallas/Fort Worth, with about 650 daily departures.
The three flights announced Monday will all be operated by US Airways Express regional carriers. American and US Airways are still flying separately, under their own brands, until they are certified to operate as one carrier. Thats expected next year. All three of the new flights Monday will be on Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which seat between 50 and 79 passengers, depending on the exact plane and its configuration.
The Grand Rapids flights will be twice daily, starting Sept. 3. Three daily flights to Evansville and one to Fort Wayne will both start Oct. 2.
The airline also announced more Midwest destinations from its hubs in Philadelphia, Dallas Fort/Worth, Chicago and Phoenix on Monday.
Although Midwest growth from Charlotte has continued since the merger, American plans to discontinue its daily flight from Charlotte to Rio de Janeiro next year. The airline also trimmed back its flight schedule last month for four new seasonal European destinations starting this summer after weaker-than-expected bookings.
Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo
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