Boeing's grounded planes now affecting some SA airport flights

SA's deputy aviation director says flight changes won't affect airport growth

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Southwest Airlines and other airlines have now announced to airports, including San Antonio International Airport, that they will keep their Boeing 737 Max airplanes grounded at least through the end of October.

The biggest changes at SAT affect two flights that have been temporarily canceled: American Airlines' flight to Philadelphia and Southwest's flight to Oakland, California. 

The other changes to San Antonio flights are reductions in their frequency. All of the reductions come from Southwest Airlines.

"For example, (Southwest was) going to Houston six times a day, then they just reduced it to five times a day and probably offset that with a larger aircraft to keep capacity," Deputy Aviation Director Tom Bartlett said. 

The other Southwest flights reducing frequency are the ones heading to:

  • Nashville

  • Fort Lauderdale

  • Las Vegas

  • Kansas City 

  • San Diego 

  • Tampa

The changes in flight frequency are among other changes at the airport. 

Last week, the city manager's office announced the resignation of Aviation Director Russ Handy, saying he will be "moving to the east coast to be closer to family and pursue other professional endeavors."

Bartlett said neither the resignation nor the grounded planes will affect the airport's growth. 

"Russ has assembled a tremendous team at the airport and we all work as a team. It's not all about one individual. We know the demand is there and we and the new director will be able to pull it off and continue," Bartlett said. 

While a national search continues for the new aviation director, the team is working around the clock to create a new master plan for the airport.

Phase one of the plan is complete, confirming the airport expansion could successfully be done at it's current location.

"Now, it's about, 'What do we need? Where does it need to go? And how big?'" Bartlett said.

As for the grounded planes, Bartlett said the Air Service Development Team is in constant contact with the airlines and will be keeping an eye out for any changes.

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