American Airlines to add additional flights to Chicago
COLUMBIA – KOMU 8 News has learned American Airlines is adding additional flights to Chicago starting Friday, May 3.
Flights to Chicago will depart at 6:11 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 4:05 p.m. and 6:23 p.m.
Flights to Columbia will depart at 8:45 a.m., 1:25 p.m., 4:35 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
“We decided to expand because we saw strong performance from COU to ORD (Chicago) and value COU as a spoke in AA’s network,” airline spokeswoman Nichelle Tait wrote in an email.
American will continue using its planes with 50 or 65 seats, depending on the flight. American currently operates two flights to Chicago on most days but sometimes has one flight per day.
Mike Parks, the airport's manager, said it's exciting the airline is adding flights.
"That shows that the community and the mid-Missouri region shows the demand here in the area for the additional flights," he said.
Mike McCormick, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce's president, was picking up a consultant on a Wednesday afternoon United flight from Chicago. He said it's "wonderful" to hear about additional options available to travelers.
"It gives them the ability, especially in the business arena, to maybe fly out in the morning, fly back in the evenings," he said.
Columbia resident Helen Liu was also on the Wednesday flight after delaying her return because of the airport's closure last week. The airport repaired a crown at the intersection of the two runways, which passengers described as a bump.
Liu said she flies from COU approximately every other month. She said having more options to fly to Chicago will be better for passengers and could provide them with shorter connections "rather than waiting long for the connection."
American currently operates three flights to Dallas and there are no immediate plans for expansion on that route, Tait wrote. United Airlines also flies from Columbia to Chicago.