US Airways lands test flight |

US Airways lands test flight

Veronica Whitney
Special to the DailyA US Airways Boeing 757 takes off Tuesday at the Eagle County regional Airport during a test flight. The airline will start flights on Dec. 20 from Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C.

On weekends between Dec. 20 and April 4, US Airways will fly non-stop between Eagle County Regional Airport and Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C.

Carrying only its crew, the Boeing 757 landed at the airport at 10:44 a.m. and left early in the afternoon. The test flight was required by the Federal Aviation Administration, said Ovid Seifers, Eagle County Regional Airport operations manager.

“An airline needs to fly a certification flight from the point of origin to a new airport before it starts the commercial flights,” Seifers said. “The sooner they do it, the better so the pilot that came can teach other pilots on doing the approach to the new airport.”

US Airways will be the sixth air carrier to fly in the winter to the county airport, bringing passengers directly from 14 cities in the United States.

So far, Northwest, Continental, Delta, American and United Express have offered direct service from Atlanta, Cincinnati, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Newark, New York and San Francisco.

The Charlotte and Philadelphia flights will connect to other cities in the East Coast, including Baltimore, Boston, Newark, New York-La Guardia, Pittsburgh and Washington DC.

Vail Resorts is providing revenue guarantee on the new US Airways flights, as it already does for some of the winter flights coming to the county airport.

US Airways is the nation’s seventh-largest airline, serving nearly 200 communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Most of its route network is concentrated in the eastern U.S., where it is the largest air carrier east of the Mississippi.

In addition to the new contract with US Airways, Eagle County Administrator Jack Ingstad said Northwest, Continental, Delta and United Express have said they will sign three-year leases to service the county airport.

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at

New US Airways winter flights

New US Airways flights between Eagle County and Charlotte and Philadelphia begin Dec. 20 and run through April 4:

– The Charlotte service will operate Saturdays, departing Charlotte at 8:30 a.m. and arriving in Eagle at 10:28 a.m. The return flight will leave at 11:40 a.m. and arrive in Charlotte at 4:45 p.m.

– The Philadelphia service will operate Saturday and Sunday, departing Philadelphia at 9:45 a.m. and arriving in Eagle at 12:14 p.m. Return flights on both days will leave Eagle at 1:15 p.m. and arrive in Philadelphia at 6:42 p.m.

Support Local Journalism