Charter Flight to Gulfport-Biloxi MS Announced for Labor Day Holiday, American Airlines to Pause Service in October

August 21, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS – Caesars Entertainment will offer a charter flight to Gulfport-Biloxi (GPT) Mississippi from Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in early September.  The flight is part of a hotel/casino package at Harrahs Gulf Coast Hotel and Casino located in Biloxi, Mississippi.  The flight departs SPI September 6th at 3:00pm and returns September 9th at 5:15pm, all times local.   Flights will be flown on Boeing 737-400 aircraft operated by Swift Air.  Reservations can be made online by visiting:   www.caesars.com/myrewards/air

Springfield Airport Authority Board of Commissioners Chair, Frank J. Vala, stated, “We are pleased to partner with Caesars Entertainment to offer these getaways to fun and exciting  destinations from your local airport.  This trip is conveniently scheduled over the Labor Day holiday, providing folks an option for an affordable getaway.”  Vala continued by noting, “Even during this pandemic, where many services are becoming limited, we continue working to provide air service options for our community.  As business travel has been curtailed during these times, we feel these leisure travel options will be welcomed by many seeking a short getaway.

Yesterday, American Airlines announced that SPI will be one of 15 cities scheduled to have its service suspended between October 7th and November 3rd as the service commitments  under the CARES Act are set to expire September 30th.   Congress continues to deliberate on an extension to the Federal Payroll Support Program for airlines.   Flights are expected to return to the schedule at the conclusion of the suspension in early November.

The announcement came as a surprise to local officials as traffic at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport has been steadily trending upward since April.  Recent data show the Transportation Security Administration screened an average of 708,684 people a day this month (nationwide), down 71% from a year ago, yet SPI’s traffic for last month was just down 52% and down 46% for the year.  American Airlines traffic at SPI in July was down just 35% and down 34% for the year.  In July American Airlines reported a 55% load factor (percentage of seats filled) and commanded over 50% of the entire market share in Springfield.

Passengers that may have flight itineraries affected between October 7th and November 3rd are encouraged to review their reservation for changes online at www.aa.com or by calling the American Airlines Reservation Center at 800-433-7300.

                       ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN CAPITAL AIRPORT

Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport was named the 2010 Primary Airport of the Year by the Illinois Department of Transportation. In 2012 IDOT released an Economic Impact study indicating Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport generates $563.6 million in total economic output annually for the local economy impacting 4,797 jobs. The airport is home to many major tenants that include the Illinois Air National Guard’s 183rd Fighter Wing, IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics, Lincoln Land Community College’s Aviation Maintenance Training Center, StandardAero and Stellar Aviation. The airport’s main passenger terminal is also home to the Passenger Service Center and Sky Club, a membership-based club offering an unparalleled level of service for frequent travelers.  Commercial passenger air service offerings feature daily service to Dallas/Ft. Worth on American Airlines, to Chicago on United Airlines and to Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda on Allegiant.  More information, including a complete listing of arrivals and departures, can be found online at www.FlySPI.com or by calling the Passenger Service Center at 217-788-9200.