American Airlines canceling 26 flights to Nevada

RENO, Nev. - American Airlines will drop more than two dozen flights to Nevada this summer, canceling 12 to Las Vegas McCarran and 17 to Reno-Tahoe international airports, Rep. Jim Gibbons said Friday.

The Nevada Republican said American Airlines officials notified him Friday of the reductions, which will take effect by July 2. Cuts in Las Vegas will be partly offset by the addition of three flights.

The airline no longer will provide service between Reno and Portland, Reno and Seattle, Reno and San Diego, and Reno and Las Vegas, he said.

''This is certainly bad news for the Nevada economy,'' Gibbons, a former airline pilot, said in a statement from Washington.

''At a time when we are trying to expand on Nevada's tourist-based economy, our potential visitors are about to face fewer flight options and potentially higher airline ticket prices when traveling to Nevada,'' he said.

A spokesman for American Airlines in Fort Worth, Texas said Friday evening there was no immediate comment.

American Airlines is the No. 2 carrier in Nevada behind Southwest Airlines. Local business leaders have been concerned about the potential for reduced service since American purchased the Reno-based Reno Air 16 months ago.

Geno Menchetti, an airport trustee in Reno, said in February that American was worried about low revenue on some Nevada routes.

Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., said after a February meeting with airline officials in Texas that the airline would honor its promise to fly Reno Air's routes through this year. But he said there were no commitments beyond that.

Only 11 of the 28 daily flights American Airlines flies out of Reno will continue after July 2, Gibbons said.

From Reno, the airline is canceling all three daily flights to Portland, all three to Seattle, all three to Orange County, all three to San Diego and all four to Las Vegas.

It's cutting one of the three daily flights from Reno to Chicago O'Hare, while retaining all three daily flights to Dallas-Fort Worth, all five to Los Angeles International and one daily flight to San Jose, said Robert Uthihoven, an aide to Gibbons.

At Las Vegas, American is going from 33 daily flights to 24. It plans to cancel all three daily flights to Colorado Springs, both daily flights to Oklahoma City, all three to Orange County and all four to Reno.

American intends to increase from six to seven its daily flights from Las Vegas to Dallas-Forth Worth and increase from six to eight its daily flights from Las Vegas to Los Angeles International.

It will retain all four flights to Chicago O'Hare and all five to San Jose, Uthihoven said.


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