Las Vegas-bound planes will soon take off from Monterey.
Beginning June 17, America West Airlines will offer nonstop daily flights to Las Vegas from Monterey Peninsula Airport, the company announced Monday.
Flights will leave Monterey at 1:40 p.m. and arrive in Las Vegas McCarran International Airport at 3:05 p.m. From Las Vegas, flights will depart at 11:41 a.m. for a 1:01 p.m. Monterey arrival.
Passengers will fly in an 86-seat Canadair Regional Jet 900 operated by America West carrier Mesa Airlines.
Ron Phoebus, chairman of the Monterey airport district's board of directors, called the flight "fabulous news for our community."
"This flight will not only make traveling to Las Vegas convenient, but it will serve as a gateway for those traveling to other destinations throughout North America," he said.
Round-trip fare starts around $250, excluding taxes and fees, according to America West's Web site. Flights to Las Vegas from San Jose International Airport start around $180, according to travel-planning Web site www.orbitz.com.
The new flight announcement is the second in as many weeks for the Monterey airport. Officials last week announced that in June it will offer a daily nonstop flight to Denver, a gateway city that can connect travelers to airports worldwide.
They're betting the Las Vegas flights will boost traffic among business travelers and vacationers alike.
"Las Vegas is the No. 1 travel destination for residents from this area," airport General Manager Tom Greer said.
The new flights are part of Monterey airport's effort to pull travelers away from the San Francisco Bay Area. Greer and Charlie Hayes, deputy general manager, also have proposed regional jet service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport through American Airlines and to Salt Lake City International Airport through Delta Airlines.
Just off Monterey-Salinas Highway near Garden Road, Monterey Peninsula Airport is served by three regional air carriers, United Express, American Eagle and America West Express, with more than 20 daily flights.
Fifteen of those are daily flights operated by United Express to San Francisco and Los Angeles. American Eagle offers five non-jet flights to Los Angeles.
America West already offers two round-trip flights daily from Monterey to Phoenix, its largest hub.
America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) is the nation's second-largest low-cost airline. With the additional Monterey-Las Vegas service, the airline will operate 154 daily flights and serve 62 nonstop destinations from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, more than any other carrier.
The airline operates nearly 1,000 flights daily to 95 destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. More information, including fares and connecting flight services, can be obtained by visiting www.americawest.com.
Non-stop daily: Monterey-Las Vegas Depart Monterey 1:40 p.m.; arrive 3:05 p.m. Depart Las Vegas 11:41 a.m.; arrive 1:01 p.m.