An old friend is now back at Montgomery Regional Airport. American Eagle Airlines started flights to Dallas Thursday. The first flight touched down Thursday afternoon.
It's been a long time since the airplane has been seen on a runway in Montgomery. American Eagle left the city in 2000 because it wasn't profitable to fly out of Montgomery, but now it's back with non-stop flights to Dallas twice a day. "Well the market just didn't work for us at that time. Time has passed though. We think both markets have matured. We think the time is right," says Dan Hagan of American Eagle Airlines.
After American Eagle left, the only way to get to the west coast from Montgomery was to back up first. "If they hadn't had this non-stop flight to Dallas today, I would have taken Delta to Atlanta and back track and I never like doing that," says traveler Carl Chandler.
In spite of the economic downturn, businesses that have expanded or located here have mad the outlook much brighter. "We have sophisticated models and analysts who look at the various markets and this one obviously rose to the top as one we think will work," says Hagan.
The airport is growing too. Now, there's an information booth to answer customers questions and restaurants and retail shops to open. "I've talked to some restaurants about if they open up just for lunch the amount of employees within a mile radius of this place would come and eat with them is beneficial as well," says Lynn Cox, Director of Marketing for Montgomery Regional Airport.