American Eagle to further grow Chicago links

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Regional operator American Eagle continues to bolster service from Chicago O'Hare with plans to inaugurate jet service to Blountville, Tennessee's Tri-Cities Regional airport on 2 July.

American Eagle says in a statement today that it will operate the new city pair twice daily using 44-seat Embraer ERJ-140 aircraft.

Tri-Cities service will follow the launch of American Eagle flights in April from Chicago to Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Fargo, North Dakota; Charleston, West Virginia; and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In June, American Eagle plans to launch service from O'Hare to the Pennsylvania destinations of Allentown and Wilkes-Barre.

American Eagle's new O'Hare routes come as its affiliate American Airlines last year announced changes to its network beginning in summer 2010 that focus on strengthening its hubs in Chicago, Dallas, Miami and New York.

Eagle will not face any competition on the new route, according to Innovata. Currently the Tri-Cities Regional airport only has service to Atlanta and Detroit by Delta Connection; to Charlotte by US Airways Express; and to Orlando and St Petersburg in Florida by Allegiant Air. The airport serves the cities of Johnson City and Kingsport in Tennessee and Bristol in nearby Virginia.