Will Rogers Airport Steps Up Marketing Efforts

Mar. 23 -- Officials with Will Rogers World Airport will continue to go after nonstop service to three top destinations.

Baltimore-Washington, Los Angeles and Seattle are among the top 15 destinations for passengers flying out of the Oklahoma City airport. Yet those cities have no nonstop service from Oklahoma City.

"We're ready to accelerate our efforts," airport spokeswoman Karen Carney told members of the Oklahoma City Rotary Club on Tuesday. "We'll be working with new and existing carriers."

The city has long sought a direct flight to the Washington area to serve federal employees of the Mike Monroney FAA Aeronautical Center and Tinker Air Force Base. However, it could be tough since most airlines are looking to expand westward routes and shorter haul flights.

"There's certainly a lot of business going back and forth from there," Carney said.

Air service consultants for the airport look at Transportation Department numbers to determine what destinations are popular for Oklahoma travelers, Carney said. Oklahomans are traveling to Los Angeles for conferences, business and leisure, Carney said.

Seattle also quickly is becoming a popular destination for Oklahoma travelers.

"We're trying to figure out what has stimulated growth in the Seattle region," Carney said. "It's probably a leisure destination. We haven't really been able to specifically pinpoint it."

There is probably business travel between Oklahoma City and Seattle since Boeing has military and commercial customers, and suppliers in Oklahoma, Carney said.

"We're stepping it up," Carney said. "The climate is right to push a little harder, make a few more personal visits. There are some real positives with everything that's going on with Oklahoma City right now."

The airport also hopes to open three additional gates in September and wants to have new flights or carriers to fill them, Carney said.

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