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Ithaca airport reacts to losing American Airlines service

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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The director of the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport says she’s “surprised” by American Airlines’ decision to suspend flights from Ithaca to Philadelphia as of Sept. 6. (Photo credit: zoeyadvertising.com)

LANSING, N.Y. — Ithaca Tompkins International Airport (ITH) says it is “seeking to retain” the services of American Airlines, after the airline announced plans to suspend flights to Philadelphia (PHL) from Ithaca as of Sept. 6.

Besides Ithaca, American Airlines on June 19 also announced plans to end service to Islip on Long Island and to Toledo, Ohio, per a Tuesday statement from the Ithaca airport.

Roxan Noble, director of the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport, said she’s “surprised” by American Airlines’ decision to stop service from Ithaca to Philadelphia.

“The national travel industry has been greatly impacted by the regional pilot shortage and the rising cost of jet fuel, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, while ITH has continued to outperform other airports with planes at over 80% full making it a very attractive market for additional service,” Noble said in a statement. “Based on these significant load factors, we are working to retain American Airlines’ service to ITH and have also assembled a team of community leaders and stakeholders who are strategically reaching out to our current carriers, Delta Airlines and United, on increasing service as well as diligently working to attract additional carriers to ITH.”

“While we are disappointed by American Airlines’ decision, we recognize the great opportunity this also provides us to attract new and additional service to our community,” Tompkins County Administrator Lisa Holmes said. “Ithaca and Tompkins County harbor a strong economy which positions our airport very favorably amongst the traveling public in addition to the business community. I would like to thank the ITH Team and stakeholders for continuing to seek additional airline service for our area.”