United Airlines now offers jet service between Idaho Falls and Denver. United Express, partnered with Skywest Airlines, began offering roundtrip flights June 8. The 50 and 70 seat jets depart Idaho Falls at 7:30 a.m. and 1:22 p.m. daily, and arrive from Denver early afternoon and late evening. The regional airport also has direct flights to Boise, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
Direct flights to Seattle have been discontinued. "We have been working with United for over eight years now to [get them to] come here," said Mike Humberd, Idaho Falls Airport director of aviation. "They have told us they wanted to start service here, they just didn't know when."
The Idaho Falls Airport has been adding flights at a steady pace over the last year. "We've added three flights in the last year, and all of them have taken off like hot cakes," said Humberd. "This has been a sleepy bevy of activity. A lot of passengers have been business travelers going back east. One year ago we had nine direct flights to Salt Lake and four to Boise. We don't see any cap on this growth."
The growth is driven in part by the Idaho National Laboratory. The extra flights will be a boon to local business, according a local business leader. "Having all those cities will have a serious impact on recruiting businesses and making local businesses competitive in the global market," said Robb Chiles, CEO and president of the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce. "The Lab is our main employer. One of the main companies out at the Lab, CH2M Hill, has their headquarters based in Denver. " The Idaho Falls Regional Airport serves eastern Idaho, southern Montana and western Wyoming.
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