Fuel Prices Force Another Flight Cancellation - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Fuel Prices Force Another Flight Cancellation

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Just six months ago, American Eagle launched its direct flights from Gulfport to Chicago. In September, those flights will come to an end.

"It's the price of fuel," said Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport Director Bruce Frallic. "If you take a small airplane with 50 seats on board, and try to charge the airfare it takes to cover the cost, why, you price yourself out of the market."

That's disappointing news for Brian Reid of Ocean Springs, who often flies to work in Chicago.

"I'll probably go back to Delta, and deal with the connections and try to do the best I can," said Reid.

The rising cost of fuel is the reason behind the recent cancellations of at least three other flights at the Gulfport airport. An independent report "Business Travel Coalition" predicts that expensive fuel prices will have devastating effects on the airline industry. It even lists the Gulfport airport as one of 150 airports that will likely lose service.

Airport Director Bruce Frallic is blasting that story.

"I think it's irresponsible. I think it's undocumented," said Frallic. "His comments are totally unfounded. There was no coordination with the airline industry, and he basically doesn't understand how the airline industry operates."

Frallic says boardings are up and his prediction is this airport will continue to survive and thrive.

While American Eagle is canceling its Chicago service, it is adding a fourth flight to Dallas-Fort Worth, starting July 3rd. And this September, U.S. Airways will have additional seats available on its Sunday flights to Charlotte, North Carolina.

By Trang Pham-Bui

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