HARLINGEN, Texas – American Airlines will commence nonstop Saturday flights between Chicago/O’Hare and Harlingen starting March 6, 2021.

Marv Esterly, director of aviation at Valley International Airport in Harlingen, made the announcement.

“Valley International Airport would like to thank American Airlines, once again, for believing in the citizens of the Rio Grande Valley and our airport,” Esterly said.

“Since American Airlines returned to Valley International Airport in March of 2018 they have continued to expand their service with larger aircraft offering dual class service and now a second non-stop destination to their Chicago hub.”

The decision by American Airlines to expand operations at VIA was one of a number of topics discussed by Esterly in a video conversation with Rio Grande Guardian editor Steve Taylor. Other topics discussed included VIA’s response to COVID-19, how the airline industry might rebound from the pandemic and whether the Valley can support three major airports in the future.

American Airlines flights will depart Harlingen on Saturdays at 2:00pm arriving in Chicago at 5:20pm. Return flight departs Chicago at 9:05am arriving at 12:50pm in Harlingen. 

Esterly said both flights will be operated by SkyWest Airlines using a regional jet with dual class service. He said it will offer greater connecting options for the American customers in the Rio Grande Valley.

The flight is currently available for purchase on the AA.com website. 

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