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Last American Eagle travelers leave Augusta

Last flight out

Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 10:46 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 1:57 AM
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American Eagle said farewell to Augusta again Monday.

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Passengers board the last American Eagle flight to leave Augusta Regional Airport. The American Airlines affiliate halted its service after its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Passengers board the last American Eagle flight to leave Augusta Regional Airport. The American Airlines affiliate halted its service after its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection.


The airline had its last flight out of Augusta Regional Airport after the service was canceled because of financial restructuring. AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines and American Eagle, filed for bankruptcy protection Nov. 29. American Eagle had been flying out of Augusta since June 2010.

In its first stint, the American Airlines affiliate flew out of the airport from 1991-93. That stay ended because American Airlines retreated and offered those markets to the small-jet carrier, prompting its own withdrawal from low-traffic markets.

“Anytime you lose an airline, it is disappointing, especially after their load factors were really strong on startup,” said Diane Johnston, the marketing manager for Augusta Regional. “It is disappointing when there is a good response from the community, but I understand where you’re going through bankruptcy and you’re trying to protect your international company that you have to give it some hard looks.”

A month after AMR’s bankruptcy filing, the company announced that the airline planned to cancel flights between Augusta and Dallas. Other flights affected include Los Angeles to Boise, Idaho; Dallas to Fayetteville, N.C.; Chicago to Tri-Cities, Tenn., and Calgary, Alberta. American Eagle transported nearly 50,000 travelers between Dallas and Augusta in 2011.

Martha Potter, who was on the next-to-last flight arriving from Dallas, said she was sad to hear the airline would no longer serve Augusta customers.

“It was a really great service both ways,” she said.

Potter, who was traveling to Dallas as her final destination, said it was refreshing to have a direct flight.

“It’s so rare these days that you can get direct flights,” she said. “It’s really too bad.”

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