Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Summer Flights Look to Boost SUN Traffic
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Friedman Memorial Airport, which has been called the second busiest airport in Idaho, has been uncharacteristically unbusy since the coronavirus pandemic curtailed air traffic around the world.
   
Sunday, June 7, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Air traffic at Friedman Memorial Airport remains down about 93 percent compared with this time last year—a number similar to the Boise airport’s.

Both Friedman Memorial Airport and the Magic Valley Regional airport have had just one flight a day to Salt Lake City since the coronavirus pandemic began shutting down air traffic in late March.

The flights that are flying have had empty seats. One passenger who flew into Friedman last week said he felt “pretty comfortable” flying, as passengers were spaced out, everyone was wearing masks and sanitizing protocols were being followed.

But Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) is about to get busier as it adds nonstop flights to five cities for the summer.

Fly Sun Valley Alliance in partnership with Sun Valley Resort and the airport said the flights will start later and have reduced schedules this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

United Airlines will offer:

  • Nonstop flights from Denver (DEN) daily June 20-22 and June 25-Sept. 7.
  • Nonstop flights from Los Angeles (LAX) five times a week Wednesday through Sunday June 25-Sept. 7.
  • Nonstop flights from San Francisco (SFO) two days a week Saturdays and Sundays July 11-Sept. 7.

    Alaska Airlines will begin:

  • Nonstop flights from Seattle daily June 25-Sept. 7. Then it will continue with three flights per week Thursday through Sunday through the fall.

    Delta Air Lines will continue:

  • One daily nonstop flight from Salt Lake City (SLC) through the summer with the possibility of adding additional service based on demand as the season progresses.

“We are cautiously hopeful, but realistic, about our upcoming summer season regarding air travel at SUN,” said Fly Sun Valley Alliance Director Carol Waller. “Recognizing there will likely be lower passenger demand due to COVID-19 concerns, we were able to maintain service to our five important flight markets by working with our airline partners on reductions to schedules and frequency.”

Waller said overall flight seat capacity could be cut 40 percent to 50 percent.

The annual economic impact of SUN airport and air service to the local and state economy is $305 million, according to a 2019 Idaho Transportation Department Aero Airport Economic Impact Analysis.  Waller said Fly Sun valley Alliance is working with its partners to provide continuity of air service knowing how important air service is to the economic recovery of the Sun Valley area.

To book flights or see the 2020 summer/fall schedule, visit www.flysunvalleyalliance.com

 

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