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El Paso International Airport sees departures drop 71%; American Airlines cuts destinations served

KVIA file
Ground crew members with an American Airlines plane on a runway at El Paso International Airport.

EL PASO, Texas - The effects of Covid-19 continue to make themselves apparent in the aviation industry as American Airlines has become the latest company to temporarily stop certain services, choosing to cut ties to 15 airports across the nation.

According to airport data, American Airlines has a 32 percent market share in El Paso.

“It certainly took some work to get my daughter a flight," said El Paso mother Leticia Elgua. "She ended up leaving late. There was only two flights available. One very early in the morning and one very late at night.”

It has become a potentially frustrating situation with some El Paso airport customers saying that not only have some flight options dried up but layover times have also increased.

One couple noted that they had a four-hour wait in Dallas before finally getting to El Paso.

However, there have been silver linings insofar as all these airlines are also reportedly enforcing the recently added social distancing guidelines.

“It has been a lot more difficult to book these flights," said Jon Dedeaux. "Delta cut down on a lot of flights though they are picking back up again. They also have limited seating at least 50 percent and no middle aisle seats sold.”

For now the situation remains a frustrating one but flight industry experts say people are slowly returning to the skies with hopes that this won’t be a sustained problem, especially as we head closer to the holiday season.

A report published by El Paso International Airport shows daily departures plummeted 71 percent in June compared to last year.

Daily seats followed the same trend. There were 6,218 seats available daily in June 2019 and this year, only 1,684.

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Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.



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