JEFFERSON COUNTY - by Scott Lawrence - Representatives from American Airlines are flying to Southeast Texas next week for a meeting civic leaders and elected officials hope will lead to the return of airline service.
United Airlines stopped regional jet service to Houston at the end of June. The company said it was no longer cost effective.
United took over from Continental Express when Continental's parent company filed for bankruptcy.
Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick told KFDM News that next Wednesday, representatives from American Airlines will meet with community leaders to explore the possibility of reestablishing air service to Dallas.
The county would have to come up with a revenue guarantee of $1 million to $1.5 million.
Judge Branick said it would be money well spent.
"We need to have the ability to link up with the international communinty," Branick told KFDM News. "And we need to have it so we can have conventions and things of that nature in our area. And one of the first things people in the convention business ask when you're trying to bring them to Ford Park or the Event Centre or hotels and motels, is what kind of air service to you have?"
Judge Branick said there is a built-in market in the region for service to Dallas.
"Air service is important to us from an economic development standpoint," said Branick. "We have a bunch of multinational corporations that do business in Southeast Texas now. This isn't a Jefferson County problem--it's a regional problem. If we want to continue to prosper, we need this type of air service."