Startup airline Virgin America listed Denver as one of the cities it is considering as it plans to start service to as many as 10 cities within a year and up to 30 cities within five years.
The airline, which will be based at San Francisco International Airport, on Wednesday announced it will fly to Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Diego; and Las Vegas, in addition to previously announced New York City. It listed Denver among about 40 cities it is considering.
The carrier last year said it might eventually fly to Denver after DIA's then co-managers of aviation Vicki Braunagel and Turner West wrote a letter of support for Virgin America's application to the Department of Transportation. Virgin America's operations are subject to federal approval.
Separately, a new airline called ExpressJet is expected to begin flying to Colorado Springs.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that ExpressJet Holdings is launching the new airline using 50-seat jets that will "focus on point-to-point service" that skips large hubs. The report listed Colorado Springs as one of the 24 cities ExpressJet would fly to.
The Colorado Springs Airport and city officials are preparing to announce new airline service next week. Mayor Lionel Rivera, airline executives and airport director Mark Earle are planning to hold a news conference Monday on the new service, its impact on the local economy, the airline's investment and the creation of jobs at the airport.
ExpressJet Holdings owns ExpressJet Airlines, a regional carrier for Continental Airlines. Continental Express currently has flights operated by ExpressJet into Colorado Springs.
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By comparison Southwest Airlines, currently the largest airline at the Ontario Airport with 56 daily flights, serves six cities nonstop.
"In most of these markets you certainly wouldn't want a plane bigger than a 50-seater, and you certainly wouldn't want to fly it more than twice a day," Ream acknowledges.
ExpressJet Airlines will operate two daily round-trip, nonstop flights from the Colorado Springs Airport to airports in San Diego, Sacramento and Ontario, Calif., the airline said Monday. Service to...
>"Oh, they're coming here," said Ed Beckman, a Fresno businessman who closely follows the aviation industry. "But the question is, where are they going?"