The El Paso International Airport will get another connection to Austin after losing direct flights to the Texas capital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
American Airlines and El Paso city officials Thursday announced the airline will add flights between Austin and El Paso beginning in September. El Paso is among 10 cities American is connecting to Austin with new service.
“Earlier this year we added more flights to Austin, and customers have spoken: they want more,” Brian Znotins, American’s vice president of network planning, said in a news release.
Southwest Airlines this month reinstated daily service to Austin after stopping the flights during the pandemic.
El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said in a statement that El Paso businesspeople, other residents, state legislators and City Council members asked for more direct flights to Austin. The city has been working with airlines to get more direct flights to Austin and other cities, he said.
“We know that increasing the number of direct flights is critical to growing business and leisure travel,” Gonzalez said.
American previously announced it will begin daily service from El Paso to Charlotte, North Carolina, in August.
American will add two daily flights between El Paso and Austin beginning Sept. 8 and will add four more daily flights between the cities in October and November. Tickets went on sale Thursday.
The flights will be on 76-seat airplanes as part of American’s regional air carrier, American Eagle, operated by Envoy Air, an American subsidiary.
The El Paso airport has seen airline passenger traffic increase substantially in recent months. In April, passenger traffic increased 685% from April 2020, when the airport was virtually shut down due to the pandemic. However, passenger traffic for January through April was down 10.3% compared with the same four months in 2020, the latest airport data show.