Southern class loses another airline

Another airport in the Southern Tier/Central New York/Finger Lakes area is losing an airline.

Whereas several years ago Greater Binghamton Airport saw its airlines exit one by one, there was only one flight left to Detroit by Delta Airlines and service by small, private and commercial carriers in the field, airports in major centers like Syracuse and even municipal fields continued Smaller ones like Elmira/Corning offer many flights from several airlines.

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It was one of those smaller airports that remained an option for southern class travelers in Ithaca.

Now, according to a report from travel website: The Points Guy, American Airlines will move service to Ithaca Tompkins International Airport in September. The regional shortage of pilots is blamed. The airline also said it would stop services to Islip, New York, and Toledo, Ohio.

The move takes effect on September 7 and the airline is said to be working with passengers who already have flights booked after that date to provide accommodations for their travel plans.

Greater Binghamton Airport has been struggling in recent years to try to lure other airlines to Broome County while maintaining the single Delta flight.

Ithaca recently received federal funding to upgrade the station, essentially doubling the capacity of this building. Funding at BGM has been directed to safety equipment, runway maintenance/improvements, and hangar maintenance.

A June 21 press release from ITH said the airport is seeking to retain American Airlines service after the announced suspension of flights to Philadelphia.

“We were surprised by American Airlines’ decision to stop service from ITH to PHL,” said Ithaca Tompkins International Airport manager, Roxanne Noble. The airport manager says the Ithaca facility has outperformed other airports with more than 80% aircraft, making it an attractive market for additional service even in 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 for ITH and have also assembled a team of community leaders and stakeholders who are strategically communicating with our existing airlines, Delta Air Lines and United, on increasing service as well as they are working hard to attract more airlines to the market. Transfer to ITH”.

Officials say Ithaca Tompkins International Airport has an annual positive impact of nearly $70 million on the region and supports 520 jobs.

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