NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — American Airlines flew its last American Eagle flight Thursday out of Tweed New Haven Airport. And later this fall, Avelo Airlines will fly nonstop to Florida.
American Airlines pulling out of New Haven wasn’t unexpected, and it might not stay that way forever.
“I am confident that they will come back in the near future,” said Sean Scanlon, Tweed’s executive director. “Maybe even before we get a new runway, but definitely after we get a new runway because that has always been the key for so many airlines. I think once we’re able to lengthen that runway just a bit, we will see a lot more service here in New Haven.”
Flight cancellations due to staffing shortages aren’t uncommon for many airlines right now, including American Airlines.
Scanlon said he is talking to every airline out there. Avelo will be the first to offer nonstop flights from New Haven to Florida. They have already added a flight.
“The planes have been booking up very quickly and we’re excited to welcome them here on Nov. 3,” Scanlon said.
Earlier this month, federal aviation officials approved the blueprint for a major expansion at Tweed. Just last week, the New Haven Board of Alders approved a 43-year lease extension.
Airport expansion has met resistance from residents on both the New Haven and East Haven sides of the airport. An environmental assessment is underway, which Scanlon said will take them through the middle or fall of next year.
“Once we get through that and determine that there are no environmental impacts, or we mitigate whatever those impacts are, we can get the permits from the federal government and the state government to move forward,” Scanlon said. “We will have to get a few zoning permits from East Haven in order to actually build the terminal on the other side of the runway.”
They are hoping to have a new terminal built by January of 2025, or maybe even the fall of 2024 if all goes well.