American flights to New York kick off Thursday at McGhee Tyson Airport

American Airlines’ Valentine’s Day gift to Knoxville: direct flights to New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, starting Thursday. The flights will be on regional carrier American Eagle.

American Airlines and Knoxville airport officials will celebrate the start of the new flights 1:45 p.m. Thursday, at the security checkpoint on the airport terminal’s second floor, according to a news release.

The first flight to LaGuardia will depart McGhee Tyson Airport at 3 p.m., the news release said.

For regular service, the nonstop flights will leave twice daily, according to a news release from the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority: at 6:05 a.m. and 3:25 p.m.; flights from LaGuardia will arrive in Knoxville at 2:26 p.m. and 11:11 p.m.

The new service was announced in October.

“The schedule and frequency of this flight provide business and leisure travelers additional options when flying to the New York metropolitan area, which is the most-traveled destination from McGhee Tyson Airport,” Eddie Mannis, chairman of the airport authority, said in the announcement. “By adding these New York flights beginning in February of 2019 and nonstop flights to Miami starting in December, American Airlines has shown a substantial commitment to our market and the travelers of East Tennessee.”

All American Eagle’s flights to LaGuardia will use Embraer 175 jets with first-class and coach seating, according to the news release. Embraer is a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer; its 175 model was introduced in 2005, and seats about 80.

Tickets are on sale now at For information on all flights to and from McGhee Tyson, go to

This is the 22nd nonstop flight offered from McGhee Tyson, though Delta Air Lines already flies from Knoxville to New York City. The airport is also served by Allegiant, Frontier and United airlines.

American already flies from Knoxville to Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Miami, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C.

Since American’s announcement of New York flights, more service has been announced.

In June, Allegiant Air announced it would base two jets at Knoxville, with the expectation it would increase the number of flights and destinations offered. In January, Allegiant announced twice weekly nonstop flights to Denver, Colorado, starting May 22. And on Monday, Allegiant announced twice-weekly nonstop flights to Pittsburgh International Airport, starting May 17.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Jim Gaines

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Published February 14, 2019