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American Airlines to stop flying to Dubuque, Islip, Ithaca, Toledo


American Airlines Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet aircraft as seen on final approach landing at Recent York JFK international airport in NY, on February 13, 2020.

Nicolas Economou | Nurphoto | Getty Images

American Airlines plans to drop service to 4 U.S. cities in September, including Dubuque, Iowa, which is able to lose scheduled industrial air service altogether.

The Fort Price-based carrier blamed the service cuts on a shortage of regional pilots. American, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have each scaled back service between some smaller cities and their hubs, citing a scarcity of aviators.

The 4 cities — Toledo, Ohio; Islip, N.Y.; Ithaca, N.Y., and Dubuque — will each lose service from American on Sept. 7, after Labor Day.

“We’ll proactively reach out to customers scheduled to travel after this date to supply alternate arrangements,” American said in an announcement.

The airports were served by American Airlines’ regional airline subsidiaries. Last week, those carriers jacked up pilot wages in an effort to stem the shortfall, which comes after several airlines shed aviators throughout the pandemic only to be caught flat-footed when travel demand snapped back.

Holly Kemler, spokeswoman for Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport, said the airport staff “are incredibly disillusioned” by American’s decision.

“Please note, this decision was made solely by the airline, primarily on account of a shortage of regional pilots,” she said. “Unfortunately, we understand this can be a current continued trend within the aviation industry.”

Kemler said the airport remains to be served by sun-seeker-focused airline Allegiant.

American Airlines said the cities will still be served by flights at other airports which can be between 45 miles and 120 miles away.

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