Effective September 6, 2022, United Airlines will no longer operate the non-stop flight between Texarkana Regional Airport (“TXK”) and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Airline officials reviewed their market demand and concluded that passenger bookings were not growing at the pace needed to outweigh operational expenses. Additionally, like all U.S. airlines right now, United has struggled to work through the nationwide pilot and crew shortage, something that has continued to grow in 2022.
Airport Director, Paul Mehrlich, was disappointed to learn of United’s decision but assures the Texarkana and Ark-La-Tex community this will not hinder the airport’s ability to attract new air service in the future. “It is very unfortunate to see United leave TXK, however, we will continue to strengthen our partnership with American Airlines and aggressively look for ways to create opportunities to add more destinations and possibly carriers.” Mehrlich said United’s decision should not be viewed as a flaw on the Texarkana community, rather a slow recovery in passenger travel in a post-pandemic world. “We realize this was a business decision, and we appreciate United’s willingness to give us a chance during a difficult time.”
The airline’s decision to end service comes in the wake of the airport recording its 4th consecutive month of United passenger growth since beginning operations February 13, 2022. Each month, airport forecasts had United passenger load numbers greater than the previous month and showed the rise continuing through August. Mehrlich noted the airport has seen a substantial increase in airport utilization since United came onboard and even mentioned the vehicle parking lot had reached capacity for the first time in airport history.
Mehrlich said the airport will continue talking to its current carrier, American Airlines, about expanding their service at TXK. “We will take this news and create opportunities from it. We know our community has an interest in a route going east, and we fully plan to actively pursue that possibility. The airport still has a bright future ahead.” Though the news about United leaving TXK isn’t positive, airport officials are encouraging the local community and region to keep utilizing TXK, creating a demand for continued growth and more air service. “Passenger utilization is a key factor in airlines determining whether to begin, continue or end air service to airports. It is extremely vital that our community continues to use TXK which creates a need to grow existing air service as well as go to more places.”
TXK still has three daily, nonstop flights to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on American Airlines. With a simple connection in Dallas, the Texarkana and Ark-La-Tex community can connect to many worldwide destinations, minutes from their doorstep. You can book flights on American Airlines from Texarkana by visiting www.aa.com.