Regional airlines are in a tough bind these days.
They can be invaluable to local communities, and they can offer connecting flights to major hubs, so people living in smaller towns or more isolated regions don’t have to drive hours just to catch a plane.
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But increasingly, major airlines have been cutting back on the number of planes they fly to and from regional airports. American Airlines (AAL) – Get Free Report recently dropped Del Rio International Airport in Texas from its schedule, so now residents have to drive to San Antonio or San Angelo to catch a flight. It’s also recently cut routes to 15 cities, including Ithaca, New York, Toledo, Ohio, and Dubuque, Iowa.
It’s a cost-saving measure, one intended to offset the rising price of jet fuel and labor, and one that airlines hope could prevent airport congestion. But the problem is that it leaves fewer and fewer options for people who don’t live in major cities.
The latest airport to suffer a cut is New York’s Stewart International Airport (SWF), which is located about an hour (give or take) away from New York City, in New Windsor. It’s not as well known as any of the big three (JFK, Newark and LaGuardia) but it’s a low-cost option for upstate locals, or people willing to travel for a bargain.
The Port Authority acquired the airport in 2007, and has invested more than $220 million in facility improvements, adding more than 20,000 square feet and also added a bus from New York City. But the airport has still struggled to attract much business from the City, and now a major airline has announced it will drop the airport from its schedule.
Frontier To Cut Stewart From Its Schedule
Frontier will cut Stewart from its schedule on July 2. It originally entered the market in October 2021 via flights to Miami, Orlando and Tampa, and later expanded to Southern locations such as Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
“We periodically review and update our routes based on demand, seasonality, and other factors. We value our partnership with New York Stewart International Airport and will continue to evaluate a potential return at some point in the future,” airline spokesperson Jennifer de la Cruz shared in a statement.
With Frontier gone, Allegiant Air will become Stewart’s only domestic carrier with flights to Orlando, Punta Gorda, St. Petersburg-Clearwater and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.