TEXARKANA, Ark. -- Texarkana Regional Airport is seeing an increase in operation and high passenger volumes as the Memorial Day holiday weekend approaches.
Airport real estate manager Tyler Brown said with United Airlines continuing to operate nonstop flights to and from Houston, both business and family bookings are starting to pick up.
"With summer being the year's largest vacation, we are starting to see more vacation travelers boarding United and getting better passenger numbers to Houston," Tyler said.
Airport Executive Director Paul Mehrlich agreed.
"Summer has always been a busy time for our airport, and United has hit the ground running by providing first-class experience to our passengers," Mehrlich said in a prepared statement. "It is wonderful being able to give our community options, and we are thrilled to have United Airlines as a partner."
Brown said despite a pilot shortage, United has managed to keep planes flying by using a flexible schedule.
"People also like to use the Memorial Day Weekend to get out of town, so they started booking earlier this month, in order to get cheaper rates," he said.
Out of the final destinations Texarkana passengers can choose once they get to Houston, 13 are domestic and six are international. All 19 were unserviced by the airport's other carrier, American Airlines, Brown said.
United Airlines is still in its one-year contract with Texarkana Regional, and Brown said city officials hope it stays longer.
"Having more options at TXK will create competitive pricing and will strengthen Texarkana's efforts to attract economic investment, generate employment and provide mobility for citizens and businesses," said Texarkana, Texas, City Manager David Orr in a prepared statement. "Ultimately, this new air service enhances Texarkana's main goal to be an economic staple for the region."
Arkansas-side City Manager Jay Ellington shared optimism over United's potential impact on the regional economy.
"This new service, along with the new terminal that is under construction, are vital to our future economic development goals and growth as a city and regional transportation hub."