Steamboat secures first direct flights from San Diego to Yampa Valley for 2016-17 ski season |

Steamboat secures first direct flights from San Diego to Yampa Valley for 2016-17 ski season

San Diego just got closer to Steamboat

Steamboat Pilot & Today

— Steamboat Ski Area is seeking to elevate competition among winter resorts by drawing from Southern California during the 2016-17 ski season. The ski area announced this week that Alaska Airlines will operate direct flights from San Diego to Yampa Valley Regional Airport for the first time this coming winter.

The airline announced June 9 it would expand its flight schedule into Steamboat Springs this ski season with twice weekly roundtrips from San Diego on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Dec. 17 through March 25. Those flights are in addition to four weekly flights from Seattle, which return this winter.

The Steamboat flight adds to Alaska’s existing service from San Diego to California’s Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort and ski resorts near Salt Lake City, according to the airline’s Vice President of Capacity John Kirby.

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Perlman said his resort will focus on leveraging the San Diego and Seattle flights through Alaska’s network of destinations on the West Coast.

Among the cities served by Alaska are Portland, Oregon; San Jose, California; Anchorage, Alaska and Orange County, California.

“With Alaska’s success from Seattle, we have strategically worked to provide new and expanded access into Steamboat,” Perlman said in a news release.

YVRA Director Kevin Booth said the San Diego service will be on 76-passenger Embraer 175 jets, operated by SkyWest, that have engines beneath the wings and, unlike smaller regional jets, full carry-on baggage compartments. The aircraft also offers 12 first-class seats and 12 premium seats, and every passenger on the flight will have either an aisle or window seat.

The flights will leave San Diego for Steamboat at 9:55 a.m., with scheduled arrival at YVRA at 1 p.m. The return flights leave Hayden for Southern California at 1:35 p.m., arriving at 3:05 p.m.

The San Diego flight is available for sale on and at Steamboat Central Reservations.

United Express reliability improves on Denver route

Booth also reported that since SkyWest, flying as United Express, assumed operation of the YVRA to Denver route from Republic Airlines beginning in April, reliability has improved.

While it has been the only carrier linking YVRA and Denver, SkyWest has completed 60 operations with two cancellations, Booth said. Both of those were attributed to poor weather conditions in Denver.

DIA roundtrips bump up to two daily roundtrips on GoJet July 1 through Aug. 15, when departures for Denver are scheduled for 12:42 p.m. and 4:55 p.m.

In other aviation news, Atlantic Aviation, which has operated as the fixed base operator meeting the needs of general aviation at YVRA since May 2014, was scheduled June 9 to close on the purchase of Black Canyon Jet Center FBO in Montrose, adding that city’s airport to a national FBO with a proven track record.

In addition to YVRA in Hayden, Atlantic is the FBO for two more Colorado airports in Aspen and Rifle.

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

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