American Airlines plans to temporarily reduce the number of flights through Columbia Regional Airport in February.
"February is the slowest at the airport; it's always our quiet month," said airport manager Mike Parks. "The reduction in flights in February will impact less people than any other month of the year."
Fights will be reduced from the 138 originally planned for the month to 96.
The worldwide pilot shortage, general staffing shortage and COVID-19 are all factors that played a role in the airline's need to reduce flights, Parks said.
The 42-flight decrease will affect flights to Dallas and Chicago.
Flights will pick back up with 124 scheduled in March and 198 planned in April, he said.
In December, the airport saw a 149.8% increase in enplanements and deplanements compared to December 2020, according to airport data.
The announcement comes after United Airlines flew its last flight out of COU on Jan. 3 before indefinitely suspending service to Columbia.
"We will continue conversations with United Airlines and other airlines about future flights and connections out of Columbia," Parks said.
The airport finished a runway extension in December, expanding the length from 6,500 to 7,400 feet.
A new terminal is under construction to replace the current 16,000-square-foot footprint with a 52,000-square-foot facility.
Construction of the terminal is expected to be completed this summer.
This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: American Airlines reduces February flights out of Columbia airport