San Antonio International Airport added a new non-stop flight today, as American Airlines nonstop to Philadelphia took off amid much fanfare early this morning, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Several top airport officials, including Aviation Director Russ Handy were on hand for the 6AM flight, in an indication of the importance of adding new non-stops to the schedule.
San Antonio International has roughly 45 nonstop destinations, but that still lags behind Austin Bergstrom, which offers non-stops to more than eighty destinations, as well as non-stops to Europe, something that is not available from SAT.
The lack of non-stops has been a sore spot in San Antonio lately, with key business leaders like Brad Parscale, head of the tech firm Giles-Parscale, and President Trump's highly successful digital director for his 2016 campaign, who recently said he was forced to move some of his company operations out of San Antonio to Florida due to his employees having to spend too much time waiting for connections in Dallas and Houston to get anywhere.
County Judge Nelson Wolff also warned that San Antonio was unlikely to land Amazon's second headquarters due to limitations at the airport. The City and County later took itself out of the running for the major employer, although Austin remains among the finalists.
The biggest blow suffered due to airport limitations happened ten years ago, when AT&T moved its global headquarters out of San Antonio and to Dallas, with CEO Randall Stephenson commenting that if AT&T employees had to spend so much time waiting at the Dallas airports, the company may as well move there.
The American Airlines Philly flight is the second new nonstop added to SAT in the past week. Frontier Airlines last week added nonstop service to Raleigh-Durham North Carolina.