Columbia Regional Airport is on the Rise

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport is doing well despite the loss of two major airlines in the past year, according to City Manager Mike Matthes.

"The big win this year has been American Airlines coming," Matthes said. "They are obviously a major player in this air service business, and they have been wonderful for us."

Currently there are two flights a day to Dallas and one to Chicago. Matthes says talks are underway to add another to Chicago.

"I feel very optimistic about the growth moving forward. And they've been a terrific partner all year," he said.

Columbia offered the airline a revenue guarantee to entice it to come to the airport.

American only had to dip into the city's revenue guarantee during the first two weeks of its flights, and since then has not needed assistance from the city, Matthes said.

Some Columbia flyers think the addition of the airline has been very beneficial.

Traveller Jeanne Naeger said she only recently started taking flights out of Columbia, because she didn't realize the airport had flights to Chicago.

"It has been really convenient for me. I really enjoy having that option," she said.

Matthes said the city is currently looking to add more flights out of Columbia, and the number of flyers each day on American prove the city will support it.