Will bigger jets bring bigger business to Lubbock? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Will bigger jets bring bigger business to Lubbock?

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

The Hub City is the place to be, and American Airlines is taking note.

Since June, the airline has been flying larger planes in and out of the Hub City to see how they would do. Now they've decided to extend the service for the foreseeable future - welcome news for travelers and the business community alike. 

Steve Verett is Executive Vice President of Plains Cotton Growers, and a frequent flyer. Verett says this upgrade makes flying the Lubbock skies a lot friendlier. 

"Any time we can improve the air service here in Lubbock, I think it's a great deal. The regional jets don't offer as much comfort and as much room. The fact that you can now carry your bags on is nice, too," Verett said. 

American Airlines is now flying six flights a day in and out of Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. Three of those flights are on Boeing MD-80s. The new planes offer 120 more seats. Eddy McBride with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce believes each flight could mean 120 more economic opportunities for the Hub City.

"Lets admit it, the more opportunity for travelers to fly north south east or west out of Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport is good for business," McBride said. 

American decided to extend the MD-80 service because their Dallas-Fort Worth-bound flights were frequently full.

"Having this is at the least, an indication that American Airlines wants to invest in Lubbock and make more seats to be made available. So that's good news," McBride said. 

This upgrade also means more money for the airport. Since the MD-80s weigh more, American will be charged a higher landing fee, amounting to nearly $70,000 more dollars for LBB each year. 

The MD-80s also offer first class seats, while the regional jets did not. 

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