by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND--If you're planning on flying to Denver any time soon, you better call ahead. Airport officials say flights are booked through the holidays.
United Airlines hasn't flown out of Midland International since the 1990's. With non-stop service now available to and from Denver, airport officials say it opens up a whole new world of opportunities for their passengers.
"It's very positive. You can go to Denver and from Denver you can go anywhere in the world," Deputy Director of Airports, Justine Ruff, said.
The first set of United Express flights, now have their place in history.
"It's very rare for an airport of our size to have service to 3 major hubs. We will now have service to Denver, DFW and Houston, as well as service to Love Field and Las Vegas with Southwest," Ruff explained.
The plane is a 50 seat, CRJ-200. It flies to and from Denver, twice a day. Considering Thursday was only the first day, Ruff says tickets are selling like wild fire, "It's my understanding, from talking to the airline, that they are pretty much booked, completely through the holidays."
United officials areexcitedxexcited about it all, too. According to Media Relations Representative, Sarah Massier, "While we expect customers will travel both east and west from Denver, DEN-MAF service gives customers much better access to the west coast than they have today. This is the only service between DEN and MAF."
That is something passengers like Andres Juaregui will take advantage of. He would normally have to fly from Lubbock or El Paso, to get back home to Alaska. "It saved me money on the gas, because I came from Big Spring. Otherwise I would have had to travel farther, a longer ride," he commented.
Darrell Bird does a lot of flying, out of Midland, for business, "I work for GE Energy, building power plants around the world. This is real nice to have another airport other than Houston or Dallas to fly in to."
Justine Ruff hopes people will take advantage of this new opportunity, "We're putting everything we've got into trying to make this Denver service work. It's a use it or lose it proposition. If people don't fly, then we will not keep the service."