While it wasn’t the busiest winter season for air traffic in Telluride’s history, airlines were able to keep flights relatively full during the 2012-13 ski season. Winter got off to a slow start thanks to a lack of snow early on, and some airlines felt the hit with fewer people booking flights to the region. However, by February the snow began to pile up and so did flight bookings. Overall, local officials are saying the season ended with strong flight loads. Now that the ski resort has closed, the focus has shifted to summer. The region’s major airline carriers will return this summer with their usual routes, but the low-cost Allegiant Air — the region’s newest carrier — will not be landing planes at the Montrose Regional Airport.
Allegiant’s contract ended on April 3, but the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization is in talks to bring the carrier back next winter. “Allegiant got off to a slow start, but they were very strong in February and March and overall had a solid season,” said TMRAO COO Matt Skinner. “We also had very strong load factors on the legacy flights for winter.”
Most air service to the region ended April 3, including direct flights to cities such as Oakland, Calif., Phoenix, Ariz., Houston and Dallas, Texas. Two airlines, Great Lakes and United, will continue through off-season. Skinner said TMRAO hopes Allegiant will return for next winter season, and talks are taking place to try and get a deal together.