orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

February 14, 2013

Orange County has more travel options

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — American Airlines flights taking off from Jack Brooks Regional Airport could have a huge economic impact on Orange County.

Representatives from the airline have been touring the area to create awareness about the return of American Airlines to the airport.

Alex Rupp, manager at Jack Brooks, says that the convenience alone is worth getting excited about but also stresses that flying from Southeast Texas, “saves time, involves less stress, helps reinvest in our local community, and puts less wear and tear on your car.”

Also, he adds, parking at Jack Brooks is free.

Jack Brooks Regional Airport, formerly Southeast Texas Regional Airport, is a public airport located near Port Arthur, Texas, United States, nine miles southeast of the central business district of Beaumont and northeast of Port Arthur.

City of Orange Director of Economic Development Jay Trahan said the availability of the airline so close to the city will give Orange a competitive advantage.

“This is an added transportation component we will have to offer,” Trahan said.

Trahan also said that it could mean more people from out of town staying in local hotels and eating at area restaurants.

“We can say we have a specific air service when we are asked what transportation methods are available to the city,” Trahan said.

Executive Director of Orange County Economic Development Corporation Bobby Fillyaw said the impact for Orange County could be huge.

“Now when perspective businesses travel to Orange County they will not have to spend one day just traveling,” Fillyaw said. “Before, they would have to fly in and then spend time driving here.”

American has stated that they would bring their American Eagle flights to the Jack Brooks Regional Airport in Nederland if they would be guaranteed $1.5 million in revenue over the next two years. Airport officials requested that all cities, commercial, and industrial entities participate in the program.

The airline is providing four American Eagle flights between the Jack Brooks Regional Airport and the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport daily. The planes would be 50 seat jets, as opposed to the older prop-jet planes that had been used previously.

The revenue guarantee would ensure that American Airlines would at least break even on each flight. If, for example, the airline needed to sell 30 seats to be at the break even point, but only sold 28 seats, then the cost of two seats would be taken from the revenue guarantee fund. If 30 or more seats were sold, then nothing would be needed from the guarantee fund. Each flight would stand alone. The fourth flight added after the agreement, is not become a part of the guarantee fund.

Orange Economic Development committed $20,000 to the fund as well as the Orange City Council.