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More airline flights expected to return soon

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Submitted Photo American Airlines says it intends to bring back more flights to Roswell by early July.

American Airlines Group Inc. has announced that a lot of its domestic flights are returning in early July, and that will mean more flights to and from the Roswell Air Center.

But exactly how many more isn’t certain yet, according to the Air Center director.

In response to an email inquiry following a press announcement about the return of many more of its domestic flights, the airline company wrote Thursday that it intends to fly three daily flights to and from Dallas and one flight to and from Phoenix starting July 7.  The domestic and international schedules are due to be posted and ready for booking by Sunday, the company said.

But Air Center Director Scott Stark said he has talked with American Airlines officials and isn’t certain whether that many flights are definitely coming back.

“What I have been told is that they definitely will be adding an additional flight for Dallas,” he said, which would mean that the airline would offer three direct departures to Dallas and two direct arrivals from that city each day.

But he said that while the Phoenix flight is expected to return July 7, that could depend on customer demand.

The commercial airline corporation announced Thursday that it would be returning to the equivalent of 55% of its July 2019 capacity on July 7. International flights will be about 20% of last year’s capacity. Systemwide, it will be flying at about 40% capacity compared to July 2019.

Due to the coronavirus emergency and federal and national public health orders, American Airlines had to reduce its domestic flights service by 60% in March. In April, it decreased domestic flights by another 20%. That’s when it announced the suspension of the Phoenix service to Roswell.

American Airlines said that domestic passenger demand increased significantly in May, when it averaged about 110,000 passengers a day. For April, the daily average was 32,000.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.