Author: Steve Kirch, KMVT.com
The once-daily United Express flights, operated by SkyWest Airlines, between Twin Falls and Denver will commence May 12.
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — TWIN FALLS, Idaho (Feb. 16, 2021) — The Twin Falls City Council unanimously approved a transportation service agreement with SkyWest Airlines that establishes nonstop air service between Magic Valley Regional Airport (TWF) and Denver International Airport (DEN) on United Airlines. Tickets for the new flights will be on sale Feb. 23. The once-daily United Express flights, operated by SkyWest Airlines, between Twin Falls and Denver will commence May 12. The new route will provide business and leisure travelers to and from Southern Idaho with access to United’s global network, and flights will be timed to provide maximum connection opportunities.
The Twin Falls City Council plans to vote Tuesday to potentially add another connection out of the Magic Valley Regional Airport, which could be a huge benefit to the local economy.
The City Council will be discussing an air service agreement with SkyWest, which will operate a new daily United Airlines roundtrip flight between Twin Falls and Denver. Currently, the airport only has connections to Salt Lake City.
“Denver is one of our Top 5 destinations, so the Denver to United hub makes a lot of sense for us,” said Bill Carberry, the airport manager. “In addition to folks coming from Denver and going to Denver, the connections through the United hub there are plentiful.”
He also before COVID-19 air travel at the airport was up 50% from 2014 to 2019.
“An area grows like the Magic Valley, the demand for air service increases and opportunities like this flight to Denver come along,” Carberry said.
Shawn Barigar, who is a council member and the president and CEO of the Twin Falls Area of Chamber of Commerce, said the connection will not only help grow tourism in Twin Falls but also help grow the overall economy.
“And when companies are looking to potentially to relocate here, or looking to grow, that’s a service they want to have,” Barigar said.
In an email KMVT received from Scott Corsetti, who is Chobani’s vice president of operations, said:
“Chobani strongly supports the proposal to secure a direct flight route between Twin Falls and Denver. with many non-stop flights to the East Coast and better connections for international travel, additional options from Denver would improve productivity and save time and money for many companies that call the Magic Valley home not to mention help tourism and our regional economy.”Scott Corsetti, Chobani Vice President of Operations
The cost of the additional connection is being supported by a $900,000 grant offer from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program the council accepted in July to offset any risk and $152,000 of local matching funds to help market the new service. The latter portion is made up of $50,000 co-funded by the county and city and $102,000 from local businesses through the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.
“The flight is self-sustaining so those who are buying tickets are paying the bills for it,” Barigar said. “If need be, we can tap into those federal dollars that we received that will help offset that risk as we grow the service over time.”
If everything goes as planned the service will start on May 12 and terminate on May 11, 2023, or until all subsidy funds have been exhausted, whichever comes first. However, SkyWest intends for this service to last beyond the term of the agreement.
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