United Airlines added a flight for the month of August between Springfield and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. United Airlines is now offering two daily flights, an increase from the once daily flight it had offered since system wide demand plummeted due to the crisis caused by the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter to airport officials, Greg Atkin, Managing Director of Market Development for SkyWest airlines stated, “The airline industry has faced unprecedented challenges since March of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the entire travel industry...” He continued, “During the darkest days of the Pandemic in April, May, June and July, and consistent with the limited scale of service our network partners were providing at hub airports, we trimmed schedules nationwide.” He concluded by noting, “...Springfield - Chicago service returns to two round trips per day, including a morning originator, a midday arrival and departure and an evening arrival, in early August.”
American Airlines maintains its twice daily flight schedule between SPI and DFW and Allegiant has released its Fall/Winter schedule, extending the bookable flight window from SPI to Fort Myers/Punta Gorda (PGD) out into February 2021.
Springfield Airport Authority Board of Commissioners Chair, Frank J. Vala stated, “We continue to monitor the ever-changing environment given the challenges nearly all businesses face during this COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when many airlines are cutting routes, trimming frequencies and furloughing employees we are grateful to be able to maintain our routes and continue to provide our community access to major airline hubs in Dallas, Chicago and leisure service to Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Florida”. Central Illinois Airports have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis with some airports losing an airline altogether with multiple routes, to temporary suspensions of service to major hubs. A year-over-year analysis shows Springfield has fared better than others, losing 19% of its departures and 17% of its seats, where other nearby regional airports have lost between 42- 56% of their departures and 28-56% of available seats.
Chair Vala concluded by saying, “We have been working with our local community, state and federal officials to ensure that our facility is prepared for travelers as travel patterns begin to resume. The safety and health of our passengers and our employees is our highest priority. Additional cleaning measures of high-traffic touch points have been put into place throughout the airline terminal. Airline partners have increased cleaning measures on all aircraft.” Passengers who are scheduled to fly are encouraged to monitor their flights as schedules can change with short notice due to trends in short term demand. Passengers should also wear face masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
All of the airlines serving the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport require the use of a mask or face covering. Passengers are encouraged to check with their airline for other specific COVID-19 related policies and procedures.
ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN CAPITAL AIRPORT Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport was named the 2010 Primary Airport of the Year by the Illinois Department of Transportation. In 2012 IDOT released an Economic Impact study indicating Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport generates $563.6 million in total economic output annually for the local economy impacting 4,797 jobs. The airport is home to many major tenants that include the Illinois Air National Guard’s 183rd Fighter Wing, IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics, Lincoln Land Community College’s Aviation Maintenance Training Center, StandardAero and Stellar Aviation. The airport’s main passenger terminal is also home to the Passenger Service Center and Sky Club, a membership-based club offering an unparalleled level of service for frequent travelers. Commercial passenger air service offerings feature daily service to Dallas/Ft. Worth on American Airlines, to Chicago on United Airlines and to Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda on Allegiant. More information, including a complete listing of arrivals and departures, can be found online at www.FlySPI.com or by calling the Passenger Service Center at 217- 788-9200.