MOSELLE, Miss. (AP) — Officials say boardings have increased at a south Mississippi airport since it stopped sharing flights with another airport.

American Airlines stopped routing planes through both Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport and Meridian Regional Airport in September.

Tom Heanue, executive director at the Hattiesburg-Laurel airport, tells WDAM-TV that boardings have increased by 40% since regional carrier SkyWest Airlines began operating two direct flights daily between the Mississippi airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The previous service stopped in both Meridian and Hattiesburg-Laurel. It also included flights to Chicago.

SkyWest is subsidized by the federal government to fly the route under the Essential Air Service program. Heanue has said it’s important for boardings to increase for SkyWest to bid to continue the service when the current contract expires next year.

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Information from: WDAM-TV, http://www.wdam.com

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