SWANTON, Ohio (WTVG) – It’s official: American Airlines no longer flies out of Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport.
The last Toledo flight landed in Chicago Tuesday evening. It’s a major blow to commercial passenger flight and the Port Authority looks to find new routes.
The tricky part is that the airlines choose what airports they want to use — not the airports choosing the airlines, according to the Port Authority. Toledo always has to put its best face forward.
One last time, passengers left Toledo’s skies for Chicago. One of them was George Tofte, who’s eventually headed to Syracuse.
“I came to visit and this was the closest,” said Tofte.
It’s closest for his family who made the very short drive from Waterville to Toledo’s airport.
“It’s just easier. We chose to park and we can park and then be back home in less than half an hour,” said Sue Heacock, whose father flew out of Toledo.
“It’s great for being a passenger. It’s easy to navigate,” said Joe Jackson, a Toledo airport passenger.
Jackson found flying out of Toledo instead of Fort Wayne made more sense.
“We’ve been exploring flying into and out of Toledo to see family for a while. This was the first time we could make it,” said Jackson.
“Anytime you lose one of those options it kinda takes a step back for the community,” said Joe Cappel of the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority.
For the Port Authority, Tuesday’s final departure doesn’t slow efforts to court more airlines — both the big carriers and the smaller ones that focus on vacation destinations.
“The best thing we can do as a community is to use the service we have. When we’re out meeting with airlines they’re interested in the demographics of the community,” said Cappel.
The Port Authority offers incentive packages that helps airlines make the routes profitable to start, but it is the airline’s call at the end. American Airlines cited a pilot shortage for the Toledo departure. People there are hoping that changes in the future and more flights return.
Allegiant continues its several flights to Florida and will resume its service to Arizona as well.
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