Coronavirus created the shortest commercial jet flight in the country — Eagle to Aspen. But it won’t last.
GYPSUM — The rental cars are stacked bumper-to-bumper. Hundreds of them wedged into two parking lots.
The rest of the airport lots are deserted. Fewer than two dozen cars are scattered across the sprawling asphalt outside the Eagle County Regional Airport. Inside the recently expanded terminal, employees easily outnumber travelers as giant televisions flicker with tourist-tempting videos of local whitewater, ski runs and bike trails.
There is no one in the TSA line. That’s not unusual for the Eagle County airport.
But the mountain-skipping route of the Bombardier CRJ700 on the tarmac, which just landed from Dallas, is unique.
The flight from Eagle County to Aspen, at 29 miles, is the shortest commercial jet flight in the country. At $29 a ticket ($45 with fees and taxes) it’s hardly a moneymaker for American Airlines. But the temporary flight keeps the airline in good graces with the U.S. Department of Transportation, which requires airlines to maintain minimum levels of service into regional airports as part of a $58 billion airline coronavirus relief package included in the government’s late March CARES Act.
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