by Max Brantley
Little Rock National Airport says it will greet an American Eagle MD-80 with a Fire Department water cannon salute this morning to mark the return of full-sized planes on flights to and from the DFW hub.
The big planes have up to 140 seats, compared with 50 to 63 on the regional jets American Eagle has been using on the route. Tradeoff is fewer flights — three a day in each direction. They'll leave Little Rock at 6:20 a.m., 11:55 a.m. and 6:05 p.m. and leave DFW at 10:05 a.m., 4:10 p.m. and 9 p.m. The previous 10 flights (five each way) could carry 465 passengers; the six can carry 620.
Many airlines are looking at switches from regional jets to larger jets and fewer flights because of fuel efficiency.