American Airlines to End Flights to Duluth

Winston ShekSTAFF | 02/17/2020

American Airlines will end flights to Duluth, Minnesota according to multiple sources.

An American Eagle E145 flies into PHL.  Credit: TheExplorer Blog | Winston Shek

The flight from Chicago-O Hare will end on April 28th, 2020.  The route was operated 2x daily using Embraer E145's. 

American Airlines launched the route a year ago in May 2019.  The new route provided a boost to the airport's traffic. Duluth International Airport serviced more than 318,000 passengers, up 13.9% from the previous year.  The launch was not the first time the carrier has tried the route. The carrier had previously operated the route for four years until December 2002. Next, it tried in March 2004, with an US SCASD grant of 1 million dollars.  However, the route quickly ended in Septemeber 2004.

Delta has 91 Boeing 717's, credit: TheExplorerBlog | Winston Shek

The move comes right after Delta announced that they would upgauge one of their flights from MSP to a B717.  Currently, Delta flies 6 daily flights from Duluth to Minneapolis. Even though it is a 2-hour thirty-minute drive from Duluth to Minneapolis, the flight supplements connections to other destinations in the U.S. and beyond.  Additionally, United operates a flight from Duluth to Chicago- O Hare 2x daily on CRJ200's and occasionally with larger aircraft like the A319 and E175.

Duluth, Minnesota is a charming city mainly focused on its port with nearby Superior, Wisconsin.  Combined, they both house 279,711 people. The city is often considered the westernmost point for the Great Lakes and one of the largest points carrying coal, iron ore, and grain.  The city can reach the Atlantic Ocean via water.

On the matter, American Airlines states, "We're constantly evaluating our network to meet customer demand. Unfortunately, the Chicago-Duluth route was not profitable and did not meet expectations."

What are your thoughts on the suspension of the route?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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