Will New Airline Mergers Mean Better Service for SUX?

Sioux Gateway Airport may see major changes, now that the merger between American Airlines and US Airways cleared on Tuesday.

But, we wanted to know if the current services meet the needs of local travelers.

With the holidays right around the corner, airlines will soon see a spike of travelers, including here in Sioux City.

And city leaders hope the merger of two mega airlines could mean more convenient flights for Sioux Gateway travelers down the road.

"The more frequency we have, the more flights we have out of here, the more folks will fly out here. Ultimately, we continue to push for more flights out of Sioux City to Chicago but then also, we feel and recognize that we need either a connection to the South or connection to the West," said David Bernstein, president of the Sioux Gateway Airport Authority Board.

The merger may mean big business for US Airways and American Airlines and while more flights may be added that doesn't mean the issue for travelers will be resolved.

Government flight statistics show that so far this year, nearly 25 percent of departing flights were delayed that's up 10 percent from when Delta Airlines flew out of Sioux City.

And an outgoing flight got canceled 18 times this year out of just 364 flights in all.

With almost all travelers trying to make a connecting flight out of Chicago's O'Hare airport the frequent delays give travelers a reason to fly out of Omaha or Sioux Falls instead.

That sends money out of town as well.

Officials hope the merger will bring more flights and dollars to Sioux City.

"I think that in the end is part of economic development and quality of life so it makes Sioux City a more attractive place and the whole region to live because you can travel in and out easy and it also makes everything more attractive for the businesses that are expanding," reaffirmed Bernstein.

American Airlines and two other carriers will compete to offer service out of Sioux City.

They have until December 2nd to place their bids.

The new merged carrier will offer nearly 7,000 flights daily to 336 destinations in more than 50 countries. OR