MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. — The Williamsport Regional Airport is scrambling to find its next airline carrier.
American Airlines currently offers a departure and arrival flight between Williamsport and Philadelphia every day. However, that service will be coming to an end soon.
"American Airlines is going to be here through the end of September. That is when the government funding for PPP runs out for them, so they will be leaving September 30," said Richard Howell, the airport's executive director.
About 120 people combined fly in and out of the airport every day. It is unknown when a new airline will be coming to the regional airport.
"We're concerned that potentially we may not have someone available October 1. But what we would like to do is get some sort of a future commitment for the first or second quarter of next year," said Howell.
AAA North Penn is a travel agency in South Williamsport. The unknown future of the airport is very concerning to folks at the travel agency.
"Many of our members in the Williamsport and Lycoming County area use the local airport for leisure, going on cruises, Disney, all-inclusive vacations, and our corporate travelers use it for going all around the world to get to their meetings and conferences," said Eric Feerrar of AAA Travel.
The travel agency is having to book its client's future flights out of airports that are farther away, and sometimes that can be a hassle.
"Our members and traveling public like the convenience of the Williamsport Regional Airport. They don't have to Philadelphia or Harrisburg and park or pay to park, I should say," said Feerrar.
The airport recently received a $950,000 federal grant. Airport officials say they will use that money to try and secure the next airline.
"We have been shopping around a lot. We have had a number of carriers that are interested in the market. Our biggest challenge right now is the delta variant of COVID. A lot of airlines are concerned about what that looks like moving forward," said Howell.
Airport officials are going to be traveling to Florida to meet with nine airlines in the coming days in hopes to secure a deal.