Friday, September 2, 2016

American to begin first non-stop flights connecting PHX and Santa Fe

American Airlines will launch new daily service connecting Phoenix, Arizona and Santa Fe, New Mexico starting Dec. 15, making it the first carrier to offer non-stop service connecting the city pair.

The new flights were announced by Santa Fe’s mayor, Javier Gonzales, at a news conference the morning of Sept. 2.

American Airlines Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jet
American Airlines CRJ-700
“Building an economy for all Santa Feans continues to be one of our top priorities – and daily service throughout the western region is central to that effort,” Gonzales said. “From the film industry to tourism and technology, every sector stands to benefit.”

Both American (NASDAQ:AAL) and United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) offer one-stop flights between the two cities, with connections in either Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) or Denver International Airport (DEN), respectively.

City and business officials agreed that the non-stop connection will help fuel Santa Fe’s economic engine.

"Daily service will connect Santa Fe to the Phoenix hub to access the West coast and bring Phoenicians easily to Santa Fe,” Simon Brackley, president and CEO of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, said. “The service will benefit hospitality, business and government throughout northern New Mexico.”

The city’s airport manager noted that the additional flight choices will enable the area to more easily attract businesses like the film industry. With its picturesque old town and surrounding countryside, Santa Fe has been featured in numerous movies, including the 2007 film by the Cohen Brothers, No Country for Old Men, as well as hundreds of episodes of a variety of television shows.

Seats will go on sale Monday, Sept. 5. A news release issued by the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce noted that the tentative schedule calls for flights to depart Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) at 9:49 a.m., and arrive at Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF) approximately an hour and a half later. Return flights are slated to depart for PHX at 12:05 p.m.

The flights will be aboard a Bombardier CRJ-700 and will have 70 available seats. According to SeatGuru.com, American operates several versions of that aircraft, though none is presently configured to accommodate 70 passengers.

The new service is the work of the Northern New Mexico Airport Alliance, a partnership of public and private stakeholders that are contributing funds to match federal and state air service development grants. The Alliance objective is to improve air service in Santa Fe through airline incentives and marketing initiatives. Current Alliance partners include Tourism Santa Fe, Santa Fe Chamber, Santa Fe County, Taos Ski Valley, and Angle Fire Resort.

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