TWIN FALLS — After years of conversations with SkyWest Airlines, obtaining grants, and delays due to COVID, the moment has finally arrived.
The Magic Valley Regional Airport officially offers a once-a-day United Express flight to and from Denver International Airport. The inaugural flight touched down in Twin at around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday.
“For those of us who live here, it’s a great amenity," said President of the Chamber of Commerce Shawn Barigar. "To be able to access that connection to Denver and their 200 hundred connections beyond that and really go any place in the world, from the convenience of Twin Falls.”
“You’re going a little more east now," said passenger Antonion Gomes. "Then you have more connections. You have United now instead of just Delta, so you have the two carriers. I think it’s going to really open up a lot of connections for myself and a lot of people, I believe."
Gomes is originally from Boise and is a SkyWest employee who took this trip to simply be on this inaugural flight. It was a smooth journey and upon his arrival in Twin Falls, he was glad to be able to have been part of such an occasion for the airport.
“They’ve been needing another destination for a long time anyway. So, I think it’s a good expansion for Skywest and the airport itself. Yeah, I think it’s great,” said Gomes.
The flight comes at a good time of year as summer approaches couldn't be a better time, with the potential to draw tourists and boost the local economy.
"As we’re seeing the resurgence of a comfort level with travel, certainly with all of the safety protocols in place, it’s great timing for us to be able to try to market to other places like Denver to draw tourists here to come experience what we all enjoy about the Magic Valley," said Barigar.
Despite all the benefits for people who want to leisurely travel, there is also a massive benefit for those doing business.
"It's a great opportunity for our existing businesses here, who have customers and clients around the country and around the world that they can access them more conveniently," Barigar said. "They can also draw in those business interests to Twin Falls as companies are looking to expand."
The flight will operate seven days a week with the plane leaving Denver at 11:45 a.m. to arrive in Twin Falls at 1:45 p.m. The flight will then depart from Twin at 2:15 p.m. with a 4:15 p.m. arrival back in Denver.