LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - If you fly out of Lawton - Fort Sill Regional Airport, you'll soon have fewer options when choosing flights.
Starting December 15th, the daily flight that takes off between 10:00 a.m. and 11 a.m. will be no more. That will leave us with just three daily flights, one early morning flight, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
Lawton Fort Sill Regional Airport Director Barbara McNally said the decision to pull the flight was made by American Airlines, not the airport. The airport recently switched to featuring bigger airplanes that offer more seats. McNally said each flight is typically about 60 to 70 percent full, which is less than the numbers American Airlines had been hoping for.
"The airlines business model is that they run their planes at capacity, they want a 90-percent load factor," McNally said. "So, what they're doing is during the holiday season, they're moving the flight to a bigger market where they'll get 90-percent."
McNally said as of right now, that eliminated flight is expected to return to Lawton at the end of March. But, in its absence, there could be changes to the airport's other flights as well.
"We have an early morning flight that goes out at 5:30 or 6 o'clock. I'm not sure how the schedule will be changing but there will be an afternoon flight and an evening flight," McNally said.
McNally said she's disappointed by the loss of the flight and hopes this isn't a sign of things to come in the future.
"If you don't use it, you lose it. That's where we are with this now. That's why this is a little scary now, how are we going to perform with the three flights each day. Are we going to be able to hit those benchmarks that American needs us to hit? At some point it could happen, I don't want to do a doomsday scenario, but I think it's something reasonable that could happen that if we're not filling those seats, they'll move them to a market that will," McNally said.
If you've already booked a flight that no longer exists, McNally said American Airlines will be handling all of the changes. She said you should reach out to the airline if you have any questions.