Residents of Del Rio, Texas can finally rejoice. The home of Laughlin AFB, one of the four major Air Force undergraduate pilot training locations in the country, will finally get commercial air service again. With sunny weather and its isolated location, it’s an ideal place to train but oddly enough a terribly difficult place to get to via air service.
Until now, any person wishing to fly commercially had to travel at least two hours either east to San Antonio or two hour north to San Angelo (and even then the options were limited to American Eagle service to DFW). Those wishing to travel had to brave the two-lane highway 90 that was notoriously laden with speed traps, desolate highway, wildlife dangers and the risks associated with passing drivers traveling 20 miles per hour or more under the speed limit. But student pilots, those permanently stationed at Laughlin (God bless them) and residents are about to get a major upgrade in travel options.
American Eagle will try again
American Airlines announced that they will commence service from DFW to Del Rio International Airport twice daily starting on November 4th, 2018. American will service the route via American Eagles’ EMB-140 fleet seating 44 passengers.
This isn’t the first time that Del Rio has tried commercial service. Prior to its merger with United Airlines, Continental had commenced twice-daily service Del Rio Airport with Saab 340s operated by Colgan Air. United briefly continued the service with ExpressJet EMB-140s but ended the service altogether in 2013. Texas Sky Airlines also operated half-hearted service for a period of about 7 months with little success last year but the service was plagued by delays and poor connection opportunities.
In a statement, the city of Del Rio said, “The City of Del Rio is proud to offer this opportunity to the community, the Southwest Texas region, and the Northern region of Mexico, while partnering with the World’s largest airline American Airlines. This new service will offer several connecting opportunities from American’s DFW hub, just in time for peak holiday travel.”
Timed well for connections
Flights are timed to offer significant connection opportunities, departing at 6:30AM and 4:25PM. Late afternoon connections are also available for Del Rio residents as arrivals into DFW are at 3:59PM and 11:00PM.