American Airlines has announced it will no longer be serving Greater Binghamton Airport and Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, both located in the Southern Tier of New York state. The airline said in a statement that “canceling routes is never easy”, but that the move will allow it to concentrate on new destinations.
The statement read: “On February 15, 2017, we are discontinuing service to and from Elmira and Binghamton from Philadelphia. Our network planning and scheduling teams constantly evaluate our network, looking at supply and demand for every route to better position ourselves to serve our customers. Canceling routes is never easy, particularly when there is a station closure involved, but it is what allows us to expand into new markets and add more frequencies.”
Both airports are distressed by the news, due to the dramatic reduction in air traffic and potential revenues. Elmira-Corning was recently granted US$40m for upgrades and renovations in an upstate airport redesign competition.
David Hickling, commissioner of aviation in Broome County, which owns Greater Binghamton, issued a response that read, “American Airlines’ decision to cease operations to Binghamton and Elmira-Corning is a significant blow to both of our communities. We are dependent on sufficient air service to provide the connectivity we need to be competitive in bringing new businesses and economic opportunities to our region.
“The changes in airline business models to convert to larger planes is making it more difficult for smaller communities like ours to fill these flights. I am calling on the FAA to do an independent, impartial study, taking a serious look at how adequate air service can be maintained in communities like Binghamton and Elmira.”