The Panama City-Bay County airport has one less carrier. Tuesday was US Airways’ last day at the airport, but the company’s pullout is just one example of the airline industry's struggle to survive in the face of increasing fuel prices.
Instead of helping flyers check in at Panama City's airport this Wednesday, US Airways employees were packing up. The airline industry has been projecting a 15 percent cutback of air service across the nation.
Airport Director Randy Curtis says US Airways’ pullout isn't an isolated situation and doesn't come as a surprise to him.
Randy Curtis said, "They've actually had major cutbacks across the nation."
The good news is US Airways has plans to return.
"The positive is US Airways indicated they like the market here and they do want to return as soon as they can get their costs under control and things stabilize with fuel."
But when US Airways opened a counter in the Panama City Airport this past April, they didn't foresee it closing just four months later, so only oil prices and time will tell if US Airways ever flies out of Panama City again.
Delta and Northwest are still flying out of the Panama City-Bay County International Airport, and once construction of the new airport is complete in May of 2010, the administration hopes to attract even more carriers.