Thursday, March 3, 2016

Steamboat Springs City Council good for takeoff on Houston, Dallas summer flights



Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs City Council agreed March 1 to allow the committee that oversees airline service here to fund daily flights this summer from both Houston on United Airlines and Dallas on American Airlines.

Securing the two flights would require committing $203,725 in minimum revenue guarantees to the two airlines. However, the full amount might not be spent depending upon the evenues generated by the flights. Contracts have yet to be executed.

Steamboat Today described the details of the service from Dallas and Houston in a Feb. 26 article.

Councilwoman Robin Crossan asked Bob Milne, chairman of the Local Marketing District (LMD) Board that manages the flight program, what the LMD’s philosophical approach to reserve funds would be going forward. Milne responded that the group intends to be conservative in that regard pending the outcome of a November public vote needed to renew a .25 percent general sales tax dedicated to airline service.

Councilman Jason Lacy noted a recent history of reliability issues with airline service between Denver and Yampa Valley Regional Airport, and he asked Milne if the summer flights from Texas are anticipated to be more dependable. Milne responded that because those flights are coming out of large hub airports, that is his expectation

With the final full month of the 2015-16 ski season underway, it is evident that Republic Airlines, flying the Q400 turboprop as United Express, remains in the mix on the Denver route.

Steamboat Today reported in October 2015 that Republic would be leaving the Denver hub altogether in the first half of March. It now appears that deadline has been moved back even though Republic officials announced Feb. 26 the company would seek to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

United spokesman Charles Hobart told the AP that his airline did not anticipate Republic’s bankruptcy to have any effect on the United Express schedule.

Also flying between Yampa Valley Regional Airport and Denver International this month will be SkyWest and Trans States airlines flying regional jets. Yampa Valley Regional Airport Director Kevin Booth said there’s also a possibility that GoJet would operate some flights this spring.

A search of flight schedules at United’s Web page reflected that as late as March 21, Republic will operate one of three daily roundtrips between Denver and Hayden. On other days in March, Trans States, flying the 50-passenger Embraer RJ 145, and the SkyWest CRJ 700 will carry the bulk of the flights.

By May, it appears SkyWest will be the sole operator on the Denver flight. For April, May and June, it will be a single flight a day on SkyWest.

Original article can be found here: http://www.steamboattoday.com

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