American Airlines has announced that they are cutting another three cities from its network, bringing its grand total of market exits up to 18.
The three markets being cut sometime this spring are Long Beach, California; Del Rio, Texas; and Columbus, Georgia. The exact date has not been confirmed yet.
Most of the markets the airline is pulling out of are smaller, more rural cities, but it’s still causing major waves. In Del Rio, for instance, American’s exit means the city will be left without any commercial carriers in their area.
American Airlines isn’t the only carrier reducing its services. Pilot shortages and low demand for flights in more rural areas also prompted airlines like United to cut 36 airports from their network last year.
Should travelers be concerned about this trend?
Though many airlines are cutting routes, few of them have been routes through major hubs, so a majority of travelers won’t be affected.
The other good news coming out of this is that it’s giving smaller carriers a chance to fill in the gaps major carriers are leaving. Regional affiliate airlines are stepping up to mitigate the cuts and often at a cheaper rate.