JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — The Joplin Regional Airport will continue to provide federally subsidized airline service for two more years, and passengers will fly on slightly larger jets.

The airport announced Wednesday the U.S. Department of Transportation renewed a contract for Essential Air Service with American Eagle. The Joplin Globe reports the airport service is performing so well that the subsidy will drop from $2.7 million a year to $342,560.

The airline will provide the same 14 round-trip flights to Dallas every week. American Eagle plans to use jets with 50 seats rather than 44.

Airport officials say the 44-passenger jets are usually at least 80 percent full, warranting the need for larger jets.

The new contract begins March 1.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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