American Airlines launches new nonstop flight from SA to New York City

Daily flights now available to JFK International Airport

SAN ANTONIO – American Airlines on Thursday launched new, daily nonstop service from San Antonio International Airport to JFK International Airport in New York City.

The flight leaves San Antonio at 9 a.m. and returns at 10 p.m. from the Big Apple.

Cupid made a guest appearance, delivering chocolates to passengers as they boarded the 160-seat B737-800 aircraft to celebrate the new service and Valentine's Day. 

The new service is great news for passengers like Brenden Lenahan and his family, who were among the first to catch the inaugural flight.

"It makes it real easy for us ... we are really excited," Lenahan said. "We will definitely be back to see family again."

Local business leaders said the flight reaffirms the Alamo City's position as a global city.

"This is a huge game changer for San Antonio," said Diane Sanchez, CEO and president of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "This is a defining moment for our community from the growth standpoint and accessing the East Coast, the major financial center of the world. And also as it looks to commerce and trade."

Russ Handy, aviation director for the city of San Antonio, said adding the new flight is a huge step for San Antonio and adding more flights to the northeast is an ongoing mission.

"We have areas where we are underserved. We have been focusing with our airline partners in trying to understand that market. New York is a great market in that it serves business, leisure. You know, visiting family and friends," Handy said.

Handy is hoping a direct flight to the nation's capital is next.

"I was just in Washington with our Chamber of Commerce, all of our elected officials last week, and I'll tell you that conversation is still happening," he said. "We have support on Capitol Hill,  and we are going to try to stress to our lawmakers that it's needed very badly in San Antonio for our military."

American Airlines serves eight destinations with nonstop service from San Antonio and is the second-largest carrier in terms of annual passengers, a news release said.

More than 300,000 travelers fly between San Antonio and New York City annually, a news release said.

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