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American Eagle Expands Service to Fargo
September 17, 2009

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American Airlines announced today that it is expanding service to Hector International Airport.

American Airlines will begin service between Fargo and Chicago in April 2010 initially offering up to three round-trip flights each day. American Airlines Logo

"We are very excited about American Airlines decision to return to Fargo and add our market to their global network," said Shawn Dobberstein, Fargo Municipal Airport Authority (FMAA) Executive Director. "American's presence will bring significant benefits to area leisure and business travelers and is consistent with our community's economic plan."

"Air Service development is a major component of our Cass Clay Economic Plan," Brian Walters, President of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. "In today's global economy, air service is and will continue to be critical business infrastructure. It is a major factor in our community's efforts to retain and grow jobs."

In 2004, FMAA retained the efforts of Sixel Consulting Group, an air transportation and airport consulting firm, to engage existing and potential new carriers, including American, in discussions for new and expanded service to Hector. American's decision to add Fargo service comes after several months of discussions and is part of a larger announcement to expand service from it's Chicago hub. American Airlines Picture

"Fargo Moorhead's community efforts to attract new service are focused on increasing the number of international carriers and hubs, adding additional non-stop markets, improving schedules, and provide competitive fares," said Mark Sixel, Sixel Consulting Group. "A string of record monthly boarding's, Fargo-Moorhead's relative economic strength, low unemployment and a strong corporate presence, combined with our recruitment program, have generated significant interest from airlines," said Sixel.

Dobberstein, Walters, Ron Robson, EDC Board Chair and U.S. Bank Regional President, and representatives from Sixel Consulting Group have engaged in several conversations related to local market dynamics and the opportunity to add American Airlines service to Chicago.

"After several lengthy discussions, we believe the addition of American Airlines will immediately benefit area businesses with better access to international markets and potentially serve as a springboard to additional hubs in the future," said Robson. "We look forward to building a strong community relationship with American Airlines."

"The EDC Board of Directors along with the Cass and Clay County Commissions have developed and adopted an economic strategy that recognizes the critical role competitive air service plays in supporting existing businesses and attracting new businesses," Robson said. "We believe air service will be a defining issue for communities seeking secure growth and opportunity for decades to come."

The FMAA and GFMEDC partnered to develop a community proposal to American that includes a standard support package from the FMAA that applies equally to new and existing carriers that provide new service and an economic development package from the EDC.

"Communities around the country are engaged in an intense, competitive battle for air service with some cities granting multi-million dollar incentives. Given our market analysis, low fuel prices, the current interest in the Fargo-Moorhead market, and Fargo's limited resources, we developed a relatively modest package that is comprised of local fee waivers and reimbursements. The cost of this investment will be paid back very quickly, in the cost-savings to businesses and individual travelers," said Sixel.

For more information:
American Airlines: www.aa.com
GFMEDC: http://www.gfmedc.com
Hector International Airport: http://www.fargoairport.com
Sixel Consulting Group: http://www.sixelconsulting.com


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