American Airlines will launch a nonstop, daily flight from San Antonio to Philadelphia on feb. 15, the airline announced Wednesday. The San Antonio International Airport currently offers nonstop flights to 39 destinations in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

“We currently only have one other airline serving the Philadelphia market on a seasonal basis, so this is exciting news that underscores American Airlines’ commitment to the growing demand in our market,” San Antonio International Airport Aviation Director Russ Handy stated in a news release. Frontier Airlines already offers offers a nonstop route from San Antonio to Philadelphia, but only on a seasonal basis.

The new route to Philadelphia will provide a much needed connection to the country’s Northeast region, airport officials stated, and offer passengers more access to American Airline’s primary transatlantic gateway.

The Airbus A319, which seats 128 passengers, will depart at 7:35 a.m. from San Antonio and arrive at Philadelphia International Airport at 12:15 p.m. The return flight to San Antonio departs at 6:35 p.m. and lands at 9:31 p.m. Tickets for the flight will go on sale this weekend.

“The new daily nonstop flight from San Antonio to Philadelphia further demonstrates the momentum our San Antonio International Airport is experiencing,” stated San Antonio Economic Development Foundation President and CEO Jenna Saucedo-Herrera. “This nonstop flight to Philadelphia provides another opportunity for our local business community to expand their reach through increased connectivity to the northeastern United States, as well as Europe.”

In the last 18 months San Antonio’s airport has added 17 new flights operated by four airlines, including a daily, nonstop flight to Mexico City. In October, Frontier will add nonstop flights to New Orleans, Phoenix, Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., and Ontario, California. Additional Frontier flights to Orlando, Cincinnati, Colorado Springs, and San Jose will be added this spring.

The announcement Wednesday is a result of increased market demand at the San Antonio airport, officials said, and a reflection of the airport’s August and July numbers, which show record-breaking passenger volume. San Antonio’s air service task force, which was established in May, aims to strengthen San Antonio’s air travel options and will continue developing new direct flights at the domestic and international level to strengthen the region’s economic competitiveness.

A direct flight to D.C.’s Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport has been a priority for public officials on the local and national level, but plans have yet to come to fruition.

“Our efforts to engage with the community to better understand requirements and work with our airline partners to provide needed air service are working and will continue,” Handy said in September.

Rocío Guenther

Rocío Guenther worked as a bilingual reporter and editorial assistant for the Rivard Report from June 2016 to October 2017. She is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico and holds a bachelor's in English...