American Airlines expands flight schedule at Lynchburg Regional Airport amid increase in passenger traffic

Coronavirus

(Photo: WFXR News/Santiago Melli-Huber)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Following the continuous recovery in local passenger demand, American Airlines is set to expand its flight schedule with Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH) starting next week.

According to a statement released by LYH on Thursday, Oct. 1, American Airlines will offer an additional regional jet flight at LYH starting Oct. 8. By doing so, officials say the airline’s service to Charlotte Douglas International Airport will increase to four roundtrip flights on most days, as well as double the airport’s monthly seat capacity compared to its April 2020 low point amid the pandemic.

LYH has the additional flight frequency from American Airlines is in response to flight loads starting to return to normal levels after several months of improving passenger traffic. After experiencing a 94% decline in April boardings during the initial coronavirus outbreak, officials say the passenger traffic at LYH rebounded significantly over the summer.

“Without a doubt, Lynchburg Regional Airport is on the road to recovery in terms of both airline flights offered and passengers carried,” said Airport Director Andrew LaGala, A.A.E.  “Even more encouraging is how much local air travelers have begun to feel comfortable flying again, along with the extent to which these numbers point to a regional economy on the upswing.”

Officials say American Airlines’ average number of boarding passengers in August finished at a post-pandemic high of 70%. With a total of 7,582 passengers carried over the course of August, LYH says that represents a remarkable 905% increase in the airport’s monthly airline passenger count in comparison to its low April total of 837 passengers. 

“The latest American flight schedule at LYH features a mix of jet service from one 50-seat regional jet to the larger 65-seat CRJ-700. The CRJ-700 models enable American to offer dual-class service on three out of its four daily departures at LYH,” Thursday’s statement from LYH said. “With the added frequency, American increases its monthly seat capacity by 25% to 6,918 compared to its August schedule. To put this growth in perspective in light of the COVID-19 environment, American’s scheduled seat capacity at LYH in October is just 12.6% less than what was offered in the same month three years ago.”

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