Travelers flying between Yampa Valley Regional Airport and Denver International Airport will have more options beginning Dec. 15; the number of daily roundtrips will jump from three to six next week.
The route between YVRA, near Hayden, and DIA is served by Mesa Airlines, which flies three roundtrips daily as United Express. Mesa is operating 37-passenger Dash-8 turboprops. United's main line and Air Wisconsin also will fly into YVRA under the United flag this ski season.
Mesa Airlines station manager Carole Ficker urged travelers not to assume that because YVRA is a small airport they don't need to check in ahead of time for departing flights.
"We recommend that passengers arrive two hours ahead of time," Ficker said. "Especially during the congested part of the day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m."
Mesa's ground crew at YVRA also will handle the Air Wisconsin flights this winter.
Mesa drops its frequency to two flights a day Dec. 15, but Air Wisconsin returns for the ski season that day with three daily roundtrips on 86-passenger British Aerospace-146 jets. In addition, United Airlines will operate a daily 737 capable of carrying 120 passengers into YVRA.
The United jet will be the last of the day to land at YVRA with a scheduled arrival of 8:51 p.m. That aircraft will remain at YVRA overnight and become the first flight out to Denver the next morning at 8:25 a.m.
Air Wisconsin will fly the first two arrivals of the day from Denver at 9:35 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. The first Mesa flight arrives at 1:20 p.m. followed by Air Wisconsin at 3:35. The second Mesa Airlines flight arrives at 4:45 p.m.
After United's 8:25 a.m. departure, Air Wisconsin turns around to Denver at 10:20 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. Mesa's Dash-8 is scheduled to depart for Denver at 1:47 p.m. followed by Air Wisconsin at 4:40 p.m. and Mesa with the last departure of the day at 6:05 p.m.
Air Wisconsin was the sole airline serving YVRA from mid-April of this year until July 7, when United shifted the service to Mesa.
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