Tickets for summer flights hit the market
The $294 round-trip tickets went on sale as a $1 million marketing campaign for the new summer flight program took off at the Colorado Ski Museum in Vail. Starting June 15, American Airlines will fly daily a Boeing 757 between Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and the Eagle County Regional Airport.
Fly Vail Summer, organized by Kent Myers of Airplanners LLC., will run through Sept. 3, carrying 176 passengers inbound and 160 outbound.
“I’m anticipating that with the kind of marketing campaign we’re trying to achieve, we will have about 80 percent load factor,” Myers said.
Myers unveiled the logo of the program Monday, laying out the costs of the marketing campaign, which he said could reach $1 million.
“The community is the marketing arm,” he said. “I don’t expect local businesses to spend more money in advertising, just to relocate it.”
The marketing campaign involves Eagle County, Vail Resorts, rental car and property management companies, hotels, nonpofit organizations and the Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau. To launch the program, banners will be placed this week at the Eagle County airport, as well as the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, Myers said. The county also is developing a Web site for Fly Vail Summer.
“The entire valley is dependent on effective transportation,” said Jim McVey, president of the Vail Board of Realtors. “This new program is important to us because a great number of the buying public prefers the summer to the winter in the Vail Valley.”
American Airlines’ hub at Dallas-Fort Worth will connect travelers to Eagle County with 28 cities in the United States, including, Boston, New York, Orlando, Miami, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta, as well as Zurich, Switz.
“Now we’re trying to work on prices to connecting cities,” Myers said. “I’d like to get competitive prices for at least six cities other than Dallas.”
To offer the summer service, American Airlines requested $475,000 in guarantee. Contributors included: Eagle County; East-West Partners; the Vail Valley Jet Center; Vail Resorts; the towns of Gypsum, Avon and Vail; Beaver Creek Resort Company; Beaver Creek Resort merchants; Cordillera; Sonnenalp Resort of Vail; Slifer; Smith and Frampton Real Estate; and Dollar Rent A Car.
“This is a great opportunity to further develop markets,” said Johannes Faessler, the owner of Sonnenalp Resort of Vail. “People are travelling with less notice, so convenient transportation is very important. I think a lot of people will pay more to save time.”
In the works also is a travel bank program that will allow locals, second homeowners and businesses make a dollar pledge to purchase airline tickets in advance.
American Airlines also will do its own marketing campaign to promote the flights, said Tim Kincaid, spokesman with American Airlines.
“We are planning to do a media luncheon in Dallas to present the new service,” Kincaid said. “We are also willing to work with the Vail community to help promote it and get the awareness up.”
Travelers can book the following flights through the American Airline’s reservation systems or their travel agents:
– American Airlines flight #2205, daily June 15 through Sept. 2, departing DFW 4 p.m. arriving EGE 5:15 p.m.
– American Airlines flight #2306, daily June 16 through Sept. 3, departing EGE 8:30 a.m., arriving DFW 11:35 a.m.
On the Web: http://www.flyvailsummer.com.
For American Airlines reservations log on to http://www.aa.com.
Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at email@example.com.