American Airlines

This July 17, 2019, file photo shows American Airlines planes at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. American Airlines plans to begin Fairbanks-to-Chicago flights in 2020. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Beginning in May 7, 2020, Fairbanks customers will be able to catch American Airlines flights out of Fairbanks International Airport seven days a week.

The flights connecting Fairbanks to Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport will run every day of the week between May and October, or prime tourist season.

Fairbanks airport Operations Manager Angie Spear said service from American Airlines has been long in the works.

"We've been working with American Airlines for many, many years to get them to initiate service into Fairbanks, so this is really exciting," Spear said Friday. "The timing was right for them and for us, so this really is just a culmination of a long process."

Spear said the airport is always getting requests from Fairbanks-area residents for additional flight options, and those requests combined with working with Explore Fairbanks will provide locals and tourists with those additional choices.

An American Airlines news release notes the impetus for the expansion was an effort to give passengers additional access to national parks. Flights also will  expand to access Montana.

“National parks are a huge attraction for many families,” said Vasu Raja, the airline's vice president of network and schedule planning. “As soon as school’s out next year, our customers will have more than 145 weekly flights to and from Montana to choose from. This summer, we launched three new flights to Glacier National Park in Kalispell, and, next summer, we’re expanding with more service to discover the natural wonders.”

Flights will be available to purchase beginning Sunday.

Fairbanks International Airport currently operates with Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Ravn Alaska providing commercial passenger service.

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.