Ski season flights to Steamboat from Austin, K.C., selling well | SteamboatToday.com

Ski season flights to Steamboat from Austin, K.C., selling well

ViaAir will fly to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport from Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri, for the 2017-18 ski season.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — ViaAir will keep a "hot spare" on hand to minimize the impact of any flight cancellations when it begins serving Yampa Valley Regional Airport west of Steamboat Springs this ski season.

Airport Director Kevin Booth explained this week that because Via intends to use one aircraft to serve both destinations, three days a week, it will keep an aircraft and crew –  a hot spare – on standby during the days it flies to Steamboat to minimize the impact on passengers in the event a flight must be canceled.

Booth told the Routt County Board of Commissioners that executives from ViaAir had visited the county-owned airport to prepare for the start of the winter flights, which begin Dec. 13 on a 50-passenger Embraer 145

"We had a good meeting," Booth said. "They still have work to do to contract and figure out how they're going to do ground handling. I know they're pretty happy with sales so far," in particular on the Austin, Texas, leg of the three weekly flights to and from both cities.

Winter ViaAir schedule to Yampa Valley regional Airport

The winter schedule on ViaAir is similar to flights offered by Alaska Airlines from San Diego with service on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. It's a frequency that allows ski vacationers to plan trips of varying lengths, Booth said.

ViaAir also plans to operate all four flight legs using one aircraft.

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According to Steamboat Resort's published flight schedule, ViaAir plans to begin the day with a flight from Austin to Steamboat departing at 11:05 a.m. and arriving at 12:29 p.m. However, when the flight turns around for takeoff at 1:10 p.m., it will be loaded with passengers returning to Kansas City. The jet will return to YVRA with Kansas City passengers, leaving at the K.C. airport at 4:40 p.m.

The last leg of the day will be a 6:10 p.m. departure from YVRA, scheduled to arrive in Austin at 9:19 p.m.

Additional flights will operate from Austin and Kansas City on Jan. 2, 4 and 9 —the same time that the Steamboat Music Fest, which focus on the Texas brand of Americana music, will be underway.

Steamboat Today reported July 26 that Maitland, Florida-based ViaAir flies to 13 U.S. destinations, and Steamboat will be the airline's first nonstop ski destination. 

While Steamboat is ViaAir's only winter resort destination, the airline, which also operates charter flights on a variety of airframes, flew passengers to the classic country music, golf and theme park destination of Branson, Missouri, this summer from Denver, Houston, Austin, Dallas and Chicago.

ViaAir's fleet numbers 30 aircraft, including the Citation Excel executive jet and  the Embraer EMB Brasilia turboprop as well as the 50-passenger jets.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.

Airline deal:

As of Oct. 24, ViaAir was offering roundtrip flights from Denver to Branson, Missouri, for $188 Nov 9 to 13.

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