Spokane International Airport adding more flights to hubs

KREM 2's Ryan Simms reports on the new route expansions for Spokane International Airport.

 SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane Airport plans to offer more options for flights to the country’s biggest hubs.

Easy parking and short security lines make flying out of Spokane less stressful compared to other major airports. On the other hand, there are fewer options for direct flights.

Spokane Airport officials said they will soon have more options for flights and called the growth unprecedented. Workers at GEG called the route expansions the most important in the airport’s history.

Coming off of a year when passenger numbers were at their highest in nearly a decade, 2017 is shaping up to be the biggest time yet for frequent flyers.

“Airplanes are like time machines and the more efficient you make it, the better it is for people to travel,” frequent flyer Darrell Johnson said.

Johnson currently has one million frequent flyer miles and soon, he will have even more. Upcoming route expansions will allow him and many other to fly to some of the biggest hubs across the country.

Starting in June, Southwest will introduce a nonstop flight to San Diego. United will also begin direct service to both Chicago O’Hare and San Francisco.  In July, American will kick off nonstop service to Dallas.

All major cities, connected directly to the Inland Northwest.

“The more opportunities there are, you can get around this country really quick. Small world,” Johnson said.

Airport workers said that even one new route requires huge competition with other cities, all to attract the attention of airlines. In this case, Spokane had to convince airlines that new service would be worth it.

“Behind those one or two routes are probably 300 opportunities that they’re looking at to take an aircraft shell and fly it in a market,” CEO of Spokane Airport, Larry Krauter said.

Four new routes, all to such prominent places. Spokane Airport’s CEO said it is not only historic, but unprecedented.

Krauter said locals will have more flight options, all while Spokane gets a bigger profile from world travelers.

“We’re looking at all the globe to connect into Spokane for DFQ, as well as Chicago and San Francisco,” Krauter said.

If the new routes are successful, airport workers said airlines may offer even more Spokane service in the future. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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