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Tracy Frank, Published September 17 2009

Fargo air service gaining more flights to Chicago as American Airlines announces expansion

UPDATED 11:13 a.m.

FARGO – American Airlines announced today that it is expanding service to Fargo.

American Eagle, a regional carrier for American Airlines, will add connecting service between Fargo’s Hector International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in April, Sen. Byron Dorgan said.

The new regional jet service will have three 50-seat roundtrip flights daily, Dorgan said in a news release.

Shawn Dobberstein, Fargo Municipal Airport Authority executive director, said he is excited about the airline’s decision to return to Fargo.

“American’s presence will bring significant benefits to area leisure and business travelers,” he said in a news release.

Brian Walters, president of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp., said air service development is a major component of the Cass Clay Economic Plan.

“In today’s global economy, air service is and will continue to be critical business infrastructure,” he said in a news release. “It is a major factor in our community’s efforts to retain and grow jobs.”

American’s decision to add Fargo service comes after several months of discussions and is part of a larger announcement to expand service from its Chicago hub, a news release stated.

Ron Robson, Economic Development Corp. board chair, said the addition of American Airlines could serve as a springboard to additional hubs in the future.

“We believe air service will be a defining issue for communities seeking secure growth and opportunity for decades to come,” he said in a news release.

In a letter to employees today, Gerard Arpey, chairman, president and CEO of AMR Corp. and American Airlines, announced that American Airlines is adding more than 50 daily flights to its Chicago hub.

That includes 12 new cities in the Untied States and three new international destinations.

Read more in Friday’s Forum.

Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki contributed to this report.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526