Del Rio marked the anniversary of its most recent iteration of commercial air service last week with a ceremony held at the city airport on Nov. 4.
The ceremony centered on Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano’s reading and presentation of a proclamation designating Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, as Air Service Anniversary Day.
Lozano welcomed city employees, including Airport Director Juan Carlos Onofre, Economic Development Director Oriana Fernandez, Del Rio Fire Department Chief Joe Harrington and members of their departments, as well as employees of Envoy, a subsidiary of American Airlines that serves as the airlines’ regional carrier to Del Rio.
“This is monumental for the city of Del Rio to have that connectivity to the world, not only bringing people from the outside in to visit our community, but also to invest in our community, and to allow families to have that ease of connection from Dallas to wherever they live beyond Dallas, to visit their friends and family,” Lozano said.
“This really supports every industry possible in the city, including Laughlin Air Force Base, the maquiladoras, Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, the school district, the hospital district,” he added.
Lozano pointed out on Nov. 4, Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope used the airline to fly into and out of Del Rio to give testimony at a Ports-to-Plains public hearing.
Lozano then read the proclamation.
“Whereas the city owns and manages the Del Rio International Airport, and the airport has been a Part 139 Federal Aviation Administration-certified airport since February 2005, and whereas the city of Del Rio executed an agreement with American Airlines on April 10, 2018, to begin flights on Nov. 4, 2018, and whereas, American Airlines, having the largest fleet worldwide, established a new non-stop route between Del Rio International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport,” the mayor read.
“And whereas this commercial route serves as the only commercial air service within a 100-mile radius from Del Rio and whereas, over 41,000 people have used the air service between Del Rio and Dallas/Fort Worth in the first year of airline service, now, therefore, in recognition of the one-year anniversary of the air service between American Airlines and Del Rio, I proclaim Nov. 4, 2019, as ‘Air Service Anniversary Day,’” Lozano read.
Tofuola Clark, Del Rio station manager for Envoy Air, also spoke during the ceremony.
“Thank you so much to the community for supporting the service. It has been a challenging year, but with my team behind me, I feel like we can do anything. I owe it all to my team, they really do an amazing job,” Clark said.
Clark thanked the city, as well as surrounding communities, who use and support the airline.
She also thanked Lozano for frequently using the service.
“Even though he does work for Delta, he still flies on our air service,” Clark quipped.
“It takes a village to make things happen, and it’s been a pleasure as well for me and my family here. My kids enjoy the community. Thank you for accepting us, and thank you for supporting us,” she added.
Onofre, too, thanked those present and reiterated that “it takes many more than one” to create success.
“We have our fire department. Those guys are there every day, every single flight, rain or shine. Without them, this wouldn’t be happening. The police department is also here for every single flight. Also, Border Patrol and our partners with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA),” Onofre said.
“I also want to convey the message that American/Envoy is hiring. Commercial air service has created jobs in our community. You can go online and access that,” Lozano added.
A reception was held in the Jack L. Richardson Terminal at the airport following the reading and presentation of the proclamation.