There's still five weeks remaining until American Eagle flies into Augusta Regional Airport, but local travel agents have already started booking those flights.
Terrie Lee, a travel counselor at AAA Travel, said that she began booking flights as soon as they were available in her computer system three weeks ago. She's glad to have a third option for her customers.
"I like American. They have some really good routes, and their prices have been really good compared to Delta and U.S. Airways. Hopefully, it will bring the prices down a little bit," Lee said.
American Eagle will have two direct flights daily from Augusta to Dallas.
The airline provides another avenue for customers to reach the Caribbean or South America, in addition to Charlotte or Atlanta, Lee added.
"When the flights are full for the other airports, you've got that extra option," she said.
American Eagle's first inbound flight will arrive at Augusta Regional on June 10 at 4 p.m. The first departure flight is at 4:30 p.m., said Diane Johnston, director of marketing for Augusta Regional.
There will also be a 10 p.m. arrival that day, which stays overnight and departs the next day at 6:40 a.m., she said.
As part of its agreement with American Eagle, the airport has hired two full-time supervisors and four part-time ticketing and customer support workers, who are currently in training, Johnston said. After a year, American Eagle could either take over the job functions or hire a third party.
American Eagle's flights are expected to increase tourism in the Augusta area, said Peggy Seigler, vice president of sales and marketing at the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"I think it can only help our efforts. More seats coming into Augusta means more people can come to conventions, meetings and even family reunions. We're excited about it," Seigler said.
Having another travel option could increase participation in sporting events such as Ironman and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, she said.
The carrier is also beneficial to local residents. Seigler plans to use the airline to fly to Texas for her high school reunion.