MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Vanguard Airlines, which helped pioneer low-fare competition to Chicago Midway Airport from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, will abandon the route after a summer of intense rivalry with three other carriers.
The airline's last nonstop flight between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Midway is scheduled for Oct. 11. On Oct. 12, Vanguard will launch service from its home base in Kansas City, Mo., to Los Angeles International Airport, an airline reservation agent said.
"We're very disappointed with Vanguard's decision," said Amy von Walter, spokeswoman for the Twin Cities' Metropolitan Airports Commission. "We hope that circumstances change and that they someday revive the service."
Von Walter said industry observers have speculated for weeks that Vanguard could soon be crowded out of the Midway market, which drew two entrants this summer: AirTran Airways of Orlando, Fla., and American Trans Air of Indianapolis.
Like Vanguard, AirTran and ATA specialize in discount prices. Vanguard's introduction of low-fare service to Midway in 1995 attempted to lure travelers away from Northwest Airlines. Since AirTran and ATA entered the market in June and July, respectively, fares of $49 or less have become routinely available, and sometimes without advance booking.
Despite giving up on nonstop service to Midway, Vanguard isn't leaving Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The carrier will continue to provide connecting service through Kansas City.
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