After Banner 2018, SAT Set to Lose Key Flights in 2019

It looks like San Antonio International Airport is about to lose one of its 'International' designations, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

San Antonio Aviation Department sources tell News Radio 1200 WOAI that Air Canada has told officials it plans to discontinue its San Antonio to Toronto flights, effective April 28th.

Air Canada began the non stop service on a daily basis in May of 2017, and having a non stop to Canada was a major boost in San Antonio's effort to attract new non stops to the city.

But Air Canada later reduced the daily service to five times per week during non peak travel times, between November and May.

But officials say while the service performed well during the peak summer travel months, it 'did not meet Air Canada's expectations during the off peak months.'

"Although we hate to see this service end, indications from Air Canada are that they hope to return services to San Antonio in the future. In the meantime, our Air Service Division remains actively committed to obtaining nonstop service to Canada through other viable airlines. More to come on those efforts later," Aviation Director Russ Handy said.

Aviation officials say they have also been told that Frontier Airlines, which announced several expansions out of SAT and other cities in 2018, is pulling back on some of those new routes.

Officials say 'several of Frontier's seasonal routes will either not be returning or will end in 2019.

Many of the flights being cut operated two to three times per week.

"Frontier will continue to provide service to and from SAT to nine of their original 25 markets, including Denver, Las Vegas, Ontario, CA, Orlando, Atlanta, San Diego, New Orleans, Colorado Springs and Washington-Dulles," Handy said.

Airport officials say they are in contact with the leadership of both airlines to see whether some of the service can be restored, but were told that the decisions 'were based on careful and deliberate analysis and in the context of where they may best deploy their resources for their shareholders.'

Airport officials say since lack of passenger capacity was the reason these flights are being lost, the cuts will only amount to about 1.5% of passenger traffic at the airport.

"Even after these adjustments, SAT’s seat capacity is still scheduled to increase by 6.5% in 2019, driven by other recently launched air service and capacity increases to existing destinations - such as Alaska Air’s newly added second daily flight to Seattle and the addition of a new carrier, Sun Country," Handy said.

He says airlines making route adjustments are not uncommon in the very competitive world of air travel, and he says efforts continue to attract new airlines and new flights to SAT, says every effort is being made to continue to expand service.

SAT experienced a banner year in 2018, with the Tricentennial, the Final Four, and the strong economy combining for the first ever 10 million passenger year at the airport. Handy says even despite these flight reductions, he remains confident that SAT will experience a 9% plus increase in seat capacity in 2019.

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