Fall airline program ready for takeoff | VailDaily.com

Fall airline program ready for takeoff

Michael RobinsonVail Valley Partnership

It is a well-known fact that Vail is consistently rated the continents top ski resort by the readers of Ski magazine, but it is lesser known that we also claim the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively, for the busiest Colorado airport behind Denver International. Thats right, the Eagle County Regional Airport is the states second-busiest airport in the winter and third-busiest in the summer, based on passenger numbers. With summer officially here, what an opportune to time to celebrate the success of the summer flight program. Summer flight service is in high gear, and the Vail Valley is soaring to new heights with it.How? For starters, the Fly Vail Summer air program has now blossomed into the Fly Vail Summer & Fall air program. The new fall season flight operated by American Airlines will see a Boeing 757 fly nonstop to and from American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth International airport hub. This service essentially bridges the time between our usual summer and winter season service, providing nearly 10 months (June 14 through March 2008) of continuous big-jet service into and out of Vail. The success of the summer program, which has contributed to the realization of fall service, can be traced back to the community. Lodges, banks, nonprofit groups in fact the entire business community have been the driving forces behind this air program.It is this commitment that makes it possible for more guests to access the Vail Valley, and this summer is already seeing soaring results. The year-to-date passenger numbers are running ahead of last summers numbers by several percentage points.American Airlines and the Vail Valley have enjoyed a terrific partnership and the results of this summers program are a testament to the positive outcome of working together. The Internet is playing a large role as well, and since American announced a fare sale on service to and from Eagle County, our airport has been featured on the home page of http://www.AA.com, which nets 1.2 million visitors a day. This online vehicle is complimented by the Net SAAver Alert box, also accessible from Americans home page. The Net SAAver Alerts give added attention to Eagle County, and more incentives to fly in and out of our regional airport soon will be announced.The expanded service into fall not only opens up more travel opportunities to the Vail Valley than ever before but also is a terrific opportunity to promote our destination during this spectacular golden season.A creative campaign will soon be unveiled locally as well as in the Dallas-Fort Worth market to create awareness of the fall service. The airline and the airport, along with Vail Resorts, worked together to develop a creative campaign based on flight time between these destinations, about 130 minutes. With the promotion, guests can fly for $1 per minute. This means a one-way flight will cost the consumer only $130. The promotion is also valid for residents of Eagle County looking to head to the Lone Star State. Is this a partnership made in heaven? Well maybe not heaven, but its certainly a match made in the sky. No wonder Frontier Airlines wooed the Vail Valley when it began its search for the best of the best mountain destinations to provide air service.The prospect of Frontier flying to Eagle County has drawn plenty of excitement. The Partnership, along with supporting air partners, has done its part to lure the airline with the talking animals on its wings to Eagle County. Acknowledging the power and global name recognition of the Vail Valley, we hold our heads high with confidence in anticipation of the final decision and will inform the community when the verdict is out. As the mountain resort communitys premier playground, we are committed to ensuring world-class customer service. The Partnership takes this responsibility seriously, and is aware that direct air service on American Airlines, United Airlines and, hopefully soon, Frontier Airlines, is an important convenience we can extend to our guests. So soar this summer and fall by flying from Eagle County and watch the Vail Valley take off.

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