Southern Tier Loses Another Airline
Another airport in the Southern Tier/ Central New York/ Finger Lakes region is losing an airline.
While several years ago, the Greater Binghamton Airport saw its airlines exit one-by-one, leaving only a single flight to Detroit by Delta Airlines and service by smaller, private and business carriers at the field, airports in bigger hubs like Syracuse and even smaller municipal fields like Elmira/Corning, have continued to offer several flights from several carriers.
One of those smaller airports that remained an option for Southern Tier travelers had been in Ithaca.
Now, according to a report from the travel site: The Points Guy, American Airlines will pull service to the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport in September. A regional shortage of pilots is being blamed. The airline also said it would cease service to Islip, New York nd Toledo, Ohio.
The move is effective September 7 and the airline is reportedly working with passengers who already had flights reserved after that date to make accommodations for their travel plans.
The Greater Binghamton Airport has been struggling over recent years to try to attract other carriers to Broome County while maintaining the single Delta flight.
Ithaca had recently received federal funding for upgrades to the terminal that, essentially doubled the capacity of that building. Funding at BGM have been directed to safety equipment and runway maintenance/improvements and hangar maintenance.
A news release June 21 from ITH said the airport is seeking to retain American Airlines' service following the announced suspension of flights to Philadelphia.
Ithaca Tompkins International Airport Director Roxan Nobel said :“We are surprised by American Airlines’ decision to stop service from ITH to PHL." The airport director says the Ithaca facility has outperformed other airports with planes at over 80% full, making it an attractive market for additional service even in the light of COVID-19 issues and the rising cost of jet fuel.
“Based on these significant load factors, we are working to retain American Airlines' service to ITH and have also assembled a team of community leaders and stakeholders who are strategically reaching out to our current carriers, Delta Airlines and United, on increasing service as well as diligently working to attract additional carriers to ITH.”
Officials say the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport has a close to $70 million annual positive impact on the region and supports 520 jobs.