PORTAGE — After a three-month hiatus from operating flights through Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, American Airlines plans to resume a daily flight starting Jan. 5.
The airline suspended service in October from Southwest Michigan and 14 other small and midsize cities based on a lack of demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting Tuesday, American Airlines plans to resume operating one flight daily at the facility flying to and from Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
“We welcome American’s return to Kalamazoo and the access they provide to their extensive network of domestic and international destinations,” Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Airport Director Craig Williams said in a statement. “Throughout the pandemic, American assured the Airport of their commitment to SW Michigan and their return confirms that commitment.”
In nearby Grand Rapids, American Airlines had 30,521 passengers travel through Gerald R. Ford International Airport in October and 32,701 passengers in November, according to a recent passenger activity report.
The latest COVID-19 stimulus bill signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 27 included $15 billion for airlines to cover most employee costs between Dec. 1 and March 31. According to media reports, American Airlines started issuing recall letters to 17,500 union employees who were furloughed in October as the airline suspended flights across the U.S.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included partial data on the number of American Airline passengers that have traveled through Gerald R. Ford International Airport in recent months. The story has been updated with complete numbers from October and November 2020.