The Asheville Regional Airport Authority (ARAA) announced this week that AirTran Airways, which was recently acquired by Southwest Airlines, will be discontinuing service from Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) effective January 6, 2012.
AirTran Airways has served AVL since June 2009 with non-stop flights to Orlando, FL, and with service to Tampa, FL, since February 2010. ARAA data indicates that AirTran accounted for approximately 8% of the airport’s passenger traffic in 2010.
“Thanks to the support of this community, the AirTran routes have been successful, and we had high hopes that Southwest Airlines would choose to continue serving Western North Carolina residents,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., airport director. “While we are disappointed with the decision, we also have confidence in the other six airlines serving our airport and in the loyalty of our passengers.”
AVL is served by low-cost carrier Vision Airlines, which also offers non-stop flights to Florida, as well as by American Airlines/American Eagle (seasonal), Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.
“Our goal is to continue increasing the ease of travel from AVL, especially through the addition of new non-stop destinations and competitively-priced fares,” said Bleiweis. “We meet regularly with airlines to advocate for these things, and are optimistic about the future of air travel for our region.”