Changes to the American Airlines flight out of the Roswell Air Center are coming, with one flight to Dallas having ended Tuesday and the global company indicating its plans to “pause” the direct route to Phoenix for a few months during the summer.
The flight now typically scheduled to depart from the Roswell airport to Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport around 9:30 a.m. daily ended Tuesday, according to Esmerelda Mendez, a local station manager for American Airlines.
“Mesa Airlines is the contractor for that flight, operating as American Eagle for American Airlines, and they are switching airlines. They are going with United,” Mendez said.
Starting today, March 1, American Airlines still intends to have two other flights run by Sky West heading to Dallas, one leaving about 6:40 a.m. and another about 12:51 p.m., Mendez said. The Phoenix route also is expected to continue throughout March and April.
Mendez added that some changes could occur on certain days concerning routes and times to accommodate passenger demand and carrier needs. She also said that she has no indication if the third Dallas-Fort Worth flight would return at some point.
Concerning the direct route to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, an American Airlines corporate communications specialist confirmed that the airline intends to halt that route this summer for about three months.
“As part of the continuous evaluation of our network, American Airlines has made the decision to pause its Phoenix (PHX) – Roswell (ROW) service effective May 4, 2023,” Jay Singh wrote in an email. “American will continue to operate two daily flights this summer to Roswell from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW). We plan to resume service between PHX and ROW this August.”
Singh added that the airline is working with affected customers.
“We’re proactively reaching out to customers affected by these changes to offer alternative travel arrangements,” he said.
Mayor Timothy Jennings said he considers the Phoenix flight important to business travelers and other visitors. He also said his discussions with American Airlines indicate that the airline wants to stay in Roswell and eventually restart the Phoenix route.
“They said the Dallas flight is fantastic and they still support it,” Jennings said. “It is just the Phoenix flight they are having difficulty getting pilots for, but they hope to resume it.”
According to recent articles posted by various industry and news publications, American Airlines is planning to cut as many as 50,000 domestic flights this summer, with as many as 5,365 flights to be eliminated at the Phoenix airport. In December, the company announced six new domestic routes to begin in May to cities in Alabama, New York, South Carolina, Michigan and Tennessee. It also is planning additional flights this summer, although not new routes, to several international cities.