Delta seeks to suspend service at the Fort Smith Regional Airport

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,838 views 

Delta Airlines has asked for federal approval to temporarily suspend service to the Fort Smith Regional Airport, a move that will further reduce traffic out of Fort Smith that has fallen more than 36% in the first four months of 2020.

A press release from the airport notes the Atlanta-based airline wants to suspend service until Sept. 30. Delta is one of 15 airlines seeking approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to suspend service due to COVID-19 dramatically reducing the number of customers.

“The Fort Smith Regional Airport (FSM) has been notified that Delta Air Lines, pending DOT approval, will suspend flights in and out of FSM through September 30, 2020. Delta anticipates approval this week and plans to implement this change quickly,” noted a statement Fort Smith Regional Airport Director Michael Griffin. “Although several airports are affected by Delta’s decision, FSM is disappointed the flights are being suspended. FSM looks forward to welcoming Delta Air Lines back after the suspension.”

Fort Smith is the only Arkansas commercial field listed on the service exemption request submitted by the airlines.

The airport has two airlines – American and Delta – that provide connections to Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta, respectively. In April, 70.6% of the traffic was with American, and for the first three months of the year, American had 71.8% of all flights.

Enplanements out of Fort Smith totaled just 399 in April, down 94.5% from April 2019. Enplanements for the first four months of the year totaled 17,483, down 36.4% from the same period in 2019. Before the COVID-19 crisis began, the airport was on track for a fifth-year of enplanement growth. Prior to March, enplanements totaled 13,563 in January and February, up 7.4% compared to the same period in 2019.

The airport has two airlines – American and Delta – that provide connections to Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta, respectively. In April, 70.6% of the traffic was with American, and for the first three months of the year, American had 71.8% of all flights.

Arkansas’ other commercial airports have not been exempt from the COVID-19 impact. Enplanements at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock fell 93.3% in April. Enplanements, or passengers flying out, decreased to 5,911 in April, from 88,859 in the same month in 2019. Between January and April, enplanements have fallen 38.7% to 202,602, from 330,676 in the same period in 2019.

Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA), the second-largest airport in the state, reported enplanements declined 95.6% in April. Enplanements fell to 3,151 in April, from 71,557 in the same month in 2019. Through April, enplanements have fallen 33.3% to 171,393, from the same period in 2019.

Facebook Comments