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American Airlines Exits Long Island’s MacArthur Airport

American Airlines has ended its service at MacArthur on Long Island, long considered a viable alternative to the three major New York City-area airports.

American flew its final flight out of MacArthur on Tuesday, September 6, according to Newsday. It’s a tough blow to the NYC suburban airport, which attracted its fair share of flyers looking for an alternative to balling the notorious Long Island traffic heading to John F. Kennedy International or LaGuardia airports in nearby Queens, but also commuters driving into Manhattan.


Moreover, it’s another death knell for the small, regional airport as airlines are consolidating and cutting flights due to staffing shortages – particularly a pilot shortage.

Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Breeze Airways are the only major carriers to remain at MacArthur. Located in Islip on Long Island, the airport was far enough away from the maddening crowds of the major airports but still close enough for carriers to consolidate.

“You’re just too close to Kennedy and LaGuardia. The attraction there is too great, and the size, they’re constrained by where they are,” Peter Russo, a former military and commercial airline pilot and former chair of the aviation department at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Queens, told Newsday. “They have short runways, they’re in the middle of a giant residential area which holds several million people, so, they can’t just blast off and become the next Kennedy.”

Still, Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said there has been a 64 percent increase in passengers through the first six months of 2022, so MacArthur is certainly appealing to some flyers.

“We are always recruiting new service — however we want to be sure that any new service can be successful and sustainable,” Carpenter said in a statement.

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