The announcement was expected but still greeted with a sigh of relief among Southeast Texas officials and residents who believe regularly scheduled commercial air service is important to a community. American Airlines said it will begin flying from the Jack Brooks Regional Airport (BPT) to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) on Feb. 13, 2013, through its regional affiliate American Eagle. DFW is the largest of American’s five domestic hubs, offering more than 740 daily departures to nearly 170 cities in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
The initial flight departing at 6:30 a.m. Feb. 13 will be first commercial flight to take off from here since United Airlines ended air service to Jack Brooks on June 30, 2012. Colgan Air, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines, had served the airport here for years on behalf of Continental Airlines prior to the United-Continental merger. Since that service was discontinued in June, United has operated a shuttle bus service from Jack Brooks to transport passengers to Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH). That service will continue with three buses daily from the terminal here.
The return of regularly-scheduled commercial air service to our airport was no accident but the result of a concentrated fundraising effort by business and government officials in Beaumont and surrounding areas through an ad hoc nonprofit group Southeast Texas Coalition for Air Service. Jim Rich, president of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, heads the coalition and took a lead role in the initiative to raise money to provide a “minimum revenue guarantee” (MRG) to American Airlines.
Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick had said if American Airlines was guaranteed $1.5 to $2 million over the next two years, consumers could expect three to four flights a day between Beaumont and DFW. In fact, as the MRG fund neared $1.5 million, American announced flights would begin in February.
The flights will be on CRJ200 regional jets, a 50-passenger aircraft manufactured by Bombardier Aerospace of Canada. First flown in 1992, the plane has an admirable record for comfort, safety and efficiency and will provide reliable service as area residents once again take to the skies.
American Eagle service
Beginning Feb. 13, 2013, to DFW
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Beaumont/Port Arthur (BPT)
AA2543 Leave DFW 8:40 a.m. Arrive BPT 9:50 a.m.
AA2521 Leave DFW 11:20 a.m. Arrive BPT 12:35 p.m.
AA2523 Leave DFW 3:10 p.m. Arrive BPT 4:20 p.m.
AA2525 Leave DFW 6:25 p.m. Arrive BPT 7:35 p.m. (except Saturday)
AA2510 Leave BPT 6:30 a.m. Arrive DFW 7:45 a.m.
AA2543 Leave BPT 10:20 a.m. Arrive DFW 11:30 a.m.
AA2521 Leave BPT 1:05 p.m. Arrive DFW 2:15 p.m.
AA2523 Leave BPT 4:50 p.m. Arrive DFW 6 p.m. (except Saturday)
Aircraft Type: CRJ 200
Frequency: All flights are daily except as noted above