Island approves $400,000 to coax more flights to region

Special to the PRESS

“Welcome back American Airlines to the Harlingen airport,” declared South Padre Island Mayor Dennis Stahl at the opening of a City Council meeting last Wednesday.

“We support both our Cameron County airports,” added Stahl. He also shared that the audience would be hearing more about that news during a related item later on the evening’s agenda.

It was during discussions led by Keith Arnold, director of the SPI Convention and Visitors Bureau, that the Council heard and discussed ways to increase flight service to the county.

Arnold, on behalf of the CVB requested a $400,000 budget amendment “for airlift improvement in the marketing budget to provide incentives for airlines to bring new flights to our region.”

He stressed the “need for aggressive outreach to desired carriers, and incentives and additional marketing from airports and the destinations to improve airlift in these areas.”

The CVB director also noted it was imperative to collaborate with nearby cities to increase flight service for Island-bound fliers. “We need to be active participants with our airports and other cities and their consultants to increase visitation to our Island,” Arnold said.

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