WESTERN SAN JUANS – After attracting new flights to the region this winter, the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization announced more positive news last week.
A new daily flight into the Telluride Regional Airport will be added this spring, and flights to the Montrose Regional Airport from Houston will be returning this summer.
During February and March, Great Lakes Airlines will operate an added daily flight to TEX, Thursday-Monday, with the plane and the crew staying in Telluride overnight. Working in conjunction with airline and the operators at TEX, TMRAO will subsidize the costs of daily de-icing needs and lodging for the crew for those flights.
“It’s a unique setup, and it is something we have done with them in the past,” said TMRAO Chief Operating Officer Matt Skinner. “We are always in conversation with Great Lakes to try to stay on their list when they have planes coming available. They approached us with the deal, and we were able to help support these flights.”
The schedule for the new Great Lakes flight includes a 3:45 p.m. departure from Denver International Airport (Thursday-Sunday), which will allow connections from the daily 1-2 p.m. arrivals surge at DIA. The scheduled arrival time for the flight at TEX is 4:46 p.m.
The plane and crew will overnight in Telluride, with departure at 7:15 a.m. the following morning (Friday-Monday). Great Lakes, which codeshares, can be booked through United Airlines and Frontier Airlines, as well as on their own site.
“The added Denver flight is a great benefit during the heavy spring skiing months,” said Ken Stone, vice president at Telluride Ski Resort. “The added seats and overnight schedule will make travel to Telluride that much easier for our guests, with a later connection inbound, and an early flight out.”
Skinner also announced that United Airlines is set to return to the region this summer with its twice-weekly service (Wednesdays and Saturdays) from Houston International Airport to the Montrose Regional Airport from June 12-Sept. 25. And because of last summer’s solid performance of those flights, Skinner said United will operate the flights without a revenue guarantee from TMRAO.
“On both of the summer flights out of Houston we saw good traffic and it was good momentum for us,” Skinner said. “We have a good relationship with the airlines. They are working with us to help increase access for our guests as best we can.”
TMRAO is also in negotiations for return summer service on American Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth to Montrose.
For Skinner, the added flights, including new winters flights from Oakland, Calif. and Phoenix, Ariz., on Allegiant Air, represent steps taken in a positive direction at a time when the air organization has worked hard to add flights as doing so that is increasingly difficult.
“We have good, strong performance right now,” Skinner said. “We are trying to balance the costs of bringing flights that are the right size both for traffic and the air organization’s budget. We have had great performance over the last year, and we will continue to move towards responsible growth in those flights.”
Skinner said the high cost of fuel and an ever-changing airline industry will continue to be a challenge.
For detailed schedule information and to book travel to TEX or MTJ this winter or coming summer, visit united.com, greatlakesav.com, aa.com, delta.com, allegiantair.com, or the Telluride Tourism Board at 888/605.2578 or VisitTelluride.com.