Airport ceremony will be held to welcome American Airlines

Thursday, February 14, 2013 | 10:55 a.m. CST; updated 7:19 a.m. CST, Friday, February 15, 2013

COLUMBIA — The Chamber of Commerce is hosting an American Airlines launch party at 4 p.m. Thursday at Columbia Regional Airport.

American will offer two flights a day to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport — 6:45 a.m. and 5:40 p.m. — except on Saturdays when only one flight will be offered. American will also offer daily flights to Chicago O'Hare International at 1:55 p.m.

Steven Sapp of the Columbia Public Works Department said it was his understanding that ticket sales were exceeding expectations. Sapp said the airline told him last week that 48 of 50 seats were sold for the afternoon flight to Chicago and the evening flight to Dallas/Fort Worth on Thursday.

"The city couldn't be more pleased with this response," he said. "It shows that people are excited about the flights we are offering."

Speakers at the Thursday afternoon ceremony will include American Airlines Vice President of Network Planning Charles Schubert, Mayor Bob McDavid, Jefferson City Mayor Eric Struemph, Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill and Cole County Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger.

Flight schedules and other airport information can be found at

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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