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United Express flights to Denver will be discontinued

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 6:23 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — United Express Flights will be discontinuing their flight from Twin Falls to Denver.

An announcement Wednesday morning that Skywest Airlines will be discontinuing its Magic Valley to Denver flight leaves the Magic Valley Regional Airport with just one commuter flight daily.

“I think it’s certainly disappointing to hear the decision was made to eliminate the service,” said Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce CEO Shawn Barigar.

For airport management, this announcement came as a bit of a shock as the flight, just established in May, has had no trouble filling seats.

“The ridership has been very good, we’ve been filling the planes. However, we’re hearing from the airlines that the revenues are not there. The business traveler, higher yield passenger, hasn’t quite returned yet,” said Airport Manager Bill Carberry.

Carberry tells KMVT that until business travel gets back to pre-pandemic levels, smaller airports like Magic Valley will continue to struggle convincing airlines to keep commercial flights.

“Airlines are very sensitive. There are labor shortages, there’s a whole confluence of issues that have come together and the business traveler hasn’t returned, so there are issues on their cost and revenue side,” Carberry said.

The impact of this decision goes beyond the consumer, as many local businesses were hoping this connection would assist them in growing their brand beyond the Magic Valley.

“It’s going to have a significant impact on the ability of existing businesses here to go reach their customers in other locations across the country as well as bring those customers here,” Barigar said.

Carberry is confident that as the winter passes and consistent business travel returns, the Magic Valley will be a destination for airlines as the region grows.

“As rapidly as this has sort of been dissipating, I’m optimistic that the future will build back. We have too strong of a community to be ignored for too long,” Carberry said.

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