Airport committee member John Alexander, left, in front, airport Manager David Allen and Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad cut a ribbon to celebrate the addition of a third daily flight on weekdays to Salt Lake City from Pocatello.
POCATELLO — The Pocatello Regional Airport held a ribbon-cutting ceremony recently to celebrate the addition of another flight from Pocatello to the Salt Lake City International Airport. The new flight is now the third weekday flight offered.
“One of the biggest benefits travelers will now have is over 300 inbound or outbound connecting opportunities at their disposal,” said Pocatello Regional Airport Manager David Allen in a press release. “Additionally, the new weekday flight represents a 46 percent increase in our available seats and weekly flights.”
With the new flight, the Pocatello airport now offers flights to Salt Lake at 7 a.m., 12:25 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. on weekdays. Weekday flights will now be arriving at 11:58 a.m., 5:50 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.
Each plane holds 50 passengers, and Sky West, a Delta connection service, operates all flights.
“We’ve had a lot of community support for the third flight,” said Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad. “It gives the citizens of the region more opportunities to fly for business or travel.”
Community members — many affiliated with the Pocatello Chiefs, the Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce and the Chambers airport committee — traveled to St. George, Utah, to ask Sky West to add the third flight, according to Blad.
“I think, because of that, they decided to add the flight,” said Blad.
About 50,000 people flew through the Pocatello airport in 2015, according to Allen. The airport hopes to see those numbers grow with the addition of a new flight. Already the passenger loads for January and February are up by 7 percent. And on Wednesday, 111 people were scheduled to fly out of Pocatello in the 150 seats available for the day.
“The value of flying out of here is immense,” said John Alexander, chairman of the Pocatello-Chubbuck airport committee, and CEO of tech company Affinity. “What extra you do pay here, the parking alone at Salt Lake or Idaho Falls would cost more.”
Alexander said that as chairman, it is his job to educate the community about what a valuable resource the airport is.
“I’m a million-mile per year traveler so I know how important travel schedules and options are to businesses and to people,” said Alexander. “We want people to know that this airport is an affordable option and a safe option. If you’ve ever tried to drive to Salt Lake in the winter you know what I mean.”
Original article can be found here: http://biz.idahostatejournal.com