American Airlines will keep direct service between Washington, D.C., and Maine from Bangor International Airport and Portland International Jetport, according to a news release Wednesday from U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who sits on the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.

Collins said she planned to meet with American CEO Doug Parker on Thursday to discuss service at Reagan National Airport in D.C. American Airlines is in the process of merging with U.S. Airways.

“I am very pleased that the newly formed American Airlines will continue these essential flights between our nation’s capital and Portland and Bangor, two of Maine’s largest cities,” Collins said in a release. “These flights are not only in high demand from consumers, but are also essential to business development and attraction and to Maine’s critical tourism industry.”

Collins and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, sent a letter to the chiefs of U.S. Airways and American Airlines in November to express concern about reduction in service and its impact on Maine.

American Airlines and U.S. Airways completed a merger deal in December, creating the world’s biggest airline. Four airlines now control more than 80 percent of the U.S. market.

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