Huntsville International Airport Seeks New Low-Cost Carrier After AirTran Departure

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Huntsville made a name for itself sending humankind past the skies into the stars.

But the city's airport has earned a reputation for costing a pretty penny to explore the sky closest to us.

With airfare costs a constant concern for travelers, you can see why low-cost carrier AirTran's final departure concerns the Board of Directors.

Huntsville International Airport Marketing Director Barbie Peek says, "Any time you have competition leave, it creates a different environment.  You have fewer choices, and that's with any environment that you have a product."

But in Tuesday morning's board meeting, the numbers thrown around show Huntsville did little to cause the carrier concern.

The board noted AirTran flights stayed close to capacity, but a merger changed the company's direction.

Huntsville International Board Treasurer Mark McDaniel explains, "This community worked very hard to get AirTran here.  They stayed, they were successful.  They had this merger with Southwest.  That's corporate America.  They make decisions, and they move on."

The board discussed bringing in another low-cost carrier to help ticket prices, but it might not halt their rise completely.

Peek says, "Across the board in the entire industry, the fares have gone up.  We've seen that.  Statistically, we're seeing a decrease in capacity in the industry and an increase in fares.  That's a pretty traditional thing that you see, squeeze out the seats and get the most that you can for the seats."

Still, the hunt for a new carrier continues.