Bishop International Airport sad to see Southwest Airlines fly away in June

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FLINT (WJRT) (11/2/17) - Passengers and administrators are Bishop International Airport are disappointed at a decision by Southwest Airlines to end service at the airport in June.

Southwest Airlines has flown out of Flint for the past five years.
The last day here will be June 6, 2018. Southwest Airlines officials broke the news to airline employees Wednesday.

Fourteen employees work in Flint. They will be given opportunities to transfer, take a furlough or retire.

"I'm disappointed because we need them to be here in Flint. And I'd like to know the rationale behind why they're dumping us so to speak," said Ezra Artis of Flushing Township.

Pat Corfman, Bishop International Airport Authority spokesman, believes the decision came down to finances.

"They didn't share specifics with me, but I know it's just overall they have to have their routes perform to a certain level as far as money that comes in," he said.

About 25 percent of the passengers at Bishop were there because of Southwest.

"We rely on them to go to Nevada to see our son and his family and four kids. This is the cheapest way to go and most convenient way to go," said Steve Smoot of Midland.

"It's a big let down for anything to be leaving Flint," said Mildred Artis.

Until next June, Southwest will have three flights a day to Chicago Midway. Delta, American, Allegiant and United airlines will continue to fly out of Bishop.

"We've got the most amazing portfolio where you can still get entire global coverage. We won't lose one destination as a result of losing Southwest Airlines," said Corfman.

Still, passengers will miss Southwest.

"We're going to have to adjust the way we travel. It will be very inconvenient for a lot of people," said Carol Larabell of Oscoda.

Bishop Airport officials will be looking for a replacement airline. Last year about 100,000 passengers used Southwest here at Bishop.

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