Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Sun Valley Increases Winter Airplane Seats
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Sunday, October 4, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Sun Valley has been able to retain nonstop flight access from six cities for the upcoming winter season, despite uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Passengers flying in or out of Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) will have direct access to and from Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Salt Lake City, announced Carol Waller, director of Fly Sun Valley Alliance.

What’s more, the total number of SUN winter 2020-21 seats is up 4 percent from the 2019-20 winter with 82,246 seats available.

Waller acknowledged that demand for air travel this winter remains uncertain due to COVID-19. But, she said, Sun Valley is well positioned as a winter vacation destination due to its wealth of outdoor activities and Sun Valley Resort’s recent announcement that the resort does not plan to implement a reservation system or limitations on visitation for season pass holders or Epic pass holders.

Waller said she also believes the increase of remote workers and second homeowners now living in the Wood River Valley on a more permanent basis because of the pandemic will likely mean an increase in demand for outbound travel.

Fly Sun Valley Alliance has worked with Sun Valley Resort, Friedman Memorial Airport and others over the years to provide increased air service which, in turn, has led to more visitors and more convenience for local and business air travelers. The community’s air seat capacity increased by 54 percent from 2013 to 2019 and enplanements increased by 74 percent as an estimated 420,000 visitors flew to Sun Valley.

The estimated overall economic impact of visitor and part-time resident air travelers during that period was $882 million in direct spending in the local economy.

FSVA’s air service development program is funded through both public and private investment, including the  1% for Air Local Option Sales Tax and private sector investment by Sun Valley Resort.

Some 2020/21 Air Support Business ski passes, which also aid the cause, are still available at www.flysunvalleyalliance.com.

2020-21 Winter Flight Schedules

From Seattle (SEA), Alaska Airlines will offer two weekly nonstop flights on Thursday and Sunday from October 1 – December 13, then increase to two daily nonstop flights during the holidays, December 17 through January 4 (one flight on Tuesdays/Wednesdays). From January 4 through April 11, Alaska will offer one daily flight and will add a second daily flight five days a week Thursday through Monday from Feb 11 through April 11. 

From Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), United will offer daily nonstop flights December 17- January 4, two flights a week on Thursday and Sunday January 5 – Feb 10, and then four flights a week on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday from Feb 11- March 27. Delta will also offer a daily nonstop flight from LAX December 19 to January 10.

From Chicago (ORD), United will offer its nonstop service daily during the holidays, December 17 – January 4, and then weekly on Saturdays throughout the rest of the season, January 9 through March 27.

 From Denver (DEN), United Airlines will offer daily nonstop flights from December 17-March 27.

From Salt Lake City (SLC) Delta Air Lines, which serves Sun Valley year-round, has increased its schedule to four daily nonstop flights during the core winter season, offering easy connections to a multitude of cities. Delta has committed to 75% seat capacity limits on all system flights through January 6, which accounts for the increase in their flights, but frequency changes may happen during the season based on demand.

For more information or to book a flight, visit www.flysunvalleyalliance.com.

 

 

 

 

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