August airline passengers to Yampa Valley Regional Airport off slightly

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— The number of passengers arriving at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in August totaled 4,008, down about 100 from 2011.

Records kept by airport administration show that the number of passengers who arrived at the airport in Hayden in August 2011 was 4,116 and reached 4,169 in August 2010.

Changes in flight schedules and the aircraft in service can influence passenger numbers from year to year.

United Express currently is operating three daily roundtrips between YVRA and Denver International Airport, and that is expected to continue through Nov. 2, according to airline program managers at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. However, United Express is expected to reduce the schedule to two daily flights from Nov. 3 to Nov. 28 before reverting to three daily roundtrips Nov. 29 through Dec. 18. Beginning Dec. 19 and continuing to March 31, United Express will operate four daily roundtrips from YVRA to DIA and back.

Ski Corp. spokesman Mike Lane wrote in an email Thursday that the schedule can change without notice and that arrival/departure times may vary by date and day of the week. A search of available flights in the middle of this month at www.united.com reflected three daily departures from YVRA at 6:15 a.m., 12:32 p.m. and 4:32 p.m. That search also reflected that within a given day, the aircraft serving the route could be a regional jet operated by Skywest or a Bombardier Q400 turboprop operated by Republic Airlines.

The Nov. 21 opening day of ski season is 76 days away, and the first direct flights to the Yampa Valley from beyond Denver begin Dec. 13. That’s when American Airlines begins daily roundtrips to and from Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth.

Daily roundtrips from Houston on United Airlines begin Dec. 19, followed closely by United’s new weekend service from Los Angeles on Dec. 22. The first daily flight of the ski season from Atlanta on Delta also begins Dec. 22.

Dec. 22 also is the date that daily service on Delta Connection from Minneapolis/St. Paul and Saturday flights on United from Newark kick in.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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