Final American Airlines flight takes off from Region of Waterloo International Airport
The last American Airlines flight took off from the Region of Waterloo International Airport Wednesday, heading from Breslau to Chicago for what could be the final time.
The airport deployed a water cannon to mark the event, an honour normally reserved for welcoming new carriers to the region.
“We’re certainly disappointed because it was a very successfully flight … in terms of the number of people using it,” said regional councillor Tom Galloway.
Galloway said the airline wasn’t losing money, but could make more with the same plane and the same crew on a U.S. route.
American Airlines launched twice daily, non-stop jet service between the region and Chicago in June 2012. Over 170,000 passengers have used the local air service.
Galloway cited the low Canadian dollar as the main reason for the airline’s decision to give up on Waterloo Region, adding the move would cost the region about $300,000 every year in landing and passenger fees.
“That is a hit on our budget and we’ll have to look at curbing expenses at the airport, but probably also having to supplement the subsidy to the airport,” said Galloway. “The subsidy to the airport is several million dollars a year.”
In a statement, the airline indicated it was open to returning: “There may be times where American returns to a market based on customer demand.”
The airline had been flying out of the region for the past four years and is not the first carrier to end service here. NextJet, Bearskin, and Quick Air all left for various reasons.
With reporting by Alexandra Pinto