American Airlines’ 12 daily flights between Colorado Springs and Dallas are safe for now, even as the carrier plans a 12 percent nationwide cut in domestic capacity during the fourth quarter of 2008.

Despite fuel cost surges forcing major airlines to cut routes to dozens of cities across the country, the Colorado Springs Airport will maintain a full schedule of flights.
“All the airlines have loaded their schedule into our system through the end of the year, and we’re not losing a single one,” said Gisela Shanahan, finance and administration director for the airport.
David White, executive vice president of marketing for the Economic Development Corp., said that while new company prospects have slowed, the fact that Colorado Springs is not losing air service could help business retention efforts.
He also sees opportunity ahead as Northwest Airlines begins two daily flights on June 15 from Colorado Springs to Memphis, home of FedEx.
“Memphis is not only their national headquarters, but it opens up new opportunity to court the medical device industry there,” White said. “Whenever new flights are added, you have to look at industry in those destinations. The new flights give us a leg up.”
Mayor Lionel Rivera said he believes the area can thank both the military and defense sectors, as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee’s presence for the area’s air service.
“We’re a destination market rather than a fly-through city,” he said. “When Northwest did its homework and found a lot of local passengers were either flying or driving to Denver to get to Memphis from Colorado Springs, they discovered there was plenty of demand for direct flights.”
And even some airline officials appear enthusiastic about Colorado Springs as a destination.
“Our schedule for the rest of the year should be consistent with what we have already scheduled to fly in August through October, four days a week,” said Tyri Squyres, an Allegiant Airline spokeswoman.
Becky.Hurley@csbj.com