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An American Eagle plane from American Airlines at Columbia Regional Airport on March 12, 2022 (file photo courtesy of COU airport manager Mike Parks)

REDI: three different airlines have met with Columbia leaders about service at COU

An American Eagle plane from American Airlines at Columbia Regional Airport on March 12, 2022 (file photo courtesy of COU airport manager Mike Parks)

A top Columbia business leader is optimistic about additional air service at Columbia Regional Airport (COU).

Regional Economic Development Incorporated (REDI) president Stacey Button says coming out of the pandemic and looking at the travel rebound has been important to COU. Ms. Button tells business leaders that she’s had three follow-up meetings with three different airlines.

“We attended a network planning conference in March. And so having these additional meetings with the airlines following that conference in March has really been tremendous,” Button says.

Button spoke at Wednesday’s REDI board of directors meeting in downtown Columbia. 939 the Eagle News followed-up with her as the meeting ended. She tells us that while she’s optimistic about additional future passenger service at COU, she cannot elaborate at this time.

“We’re happy to see the interest in airlines and hopefully we’ll have something soon,” Button tells 939 the Eagle.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines is currently the only airline providing passenger service at COU: they provide daily service to Dallas-Fort Worth and to Chicago.

Chicago-based United Airlines suspended flights at Columbia Regional in early January. Their last flight was January 3. COU airport manager Michael Parks told 939 the Eagle News at the time that the decision involved pilot and staffing shortages.

“United will be back. It’s all about timing and getting things right with their business. But they had to make that decision and unfortunately, we were on that list,” Parks said on November 29.

COU was one of eight airports impacted by United’s indefinite suspension.

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