- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - United Airlines will begin offering a daily non-stop flight from Lafayette to Denver beginning Aug. 19.

The Lafayette Airport Commission said Wednesday that there will be one arriving flight from Denver and one departure from Lafayette in a 50-seater plane.

Director of Aviation Greg Roberts told The Advertiser (http://bit.ly/1ju3wsJ ) the new flight will benefit all Lafayette flyers, especially those in the oil industry.

“The oil industry will eat this up,” Roberts said as the new flight will provide faster and easier access to Western and Midwestern states where businesses travel for shale and gas activity.

“This helps people get there and back faster,” Roberts said.

The addition of Denver makes Lafayette a hub for four cities, including Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. United currently has 10 flights to Houston each day out of Lafayette.

The arriving flight will leave Denver at 9:55 a.m. MST and arrive in Lafayette at 1:39 p.m. CST. The flight from Lafayette will leave at 4 p.m. CST and arrive in Denver at 5:50 p.m. MST.

“We’ve been working on this for quite a while,” said Lafayette Airport Commission Chairman Matt Cruse.

“Our data showed there is enough demand from business and leisure travelers to Denver to warrant adding the new destination,” Cruse said. “Now it will be up to the public, and their response to this new service.”

The airport commission has been working with the Chicago-based airline for more than a year, Roberts added.

Cruse said he believes United’s move will encourage the airport’s other airlines - American Eagle and Delta - to follow suit, but “the correlation is based on demand.”

“We’ve got to move passengers in and out of here,” Cruse said. “We’re on the cusp of seeing more flights, larger aircrafts, but we have to fill those seats first.”

Airport officials also announced an upgrade for Delta Air Lines travelers. The airline currently provides six flights with 50-seater planes to Atlanta, but now one of those will be on a 108-seater, 12 of which will be for first-class flyers.


Information from: The Advertiser, http://www.theadvertiser.com



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