By Ron Davis – Reporter, Albuquerque Business First
Nov 20, 2019
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Southern California skiers will soon have a new direct option to get to the Taos Ski Valley slopes.
Taos Air announced it will launch direct air service from Taos Regional Airport to Los Angeles and Carlsbad, California, beginning in January. Taos Air will offer one flight to and from both destinations every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday for a total of six round trips per week. The service will run from Jan. 9 to March 29.
“Taos is fortunate to welcome many visitors from Southern California and we are very excited to help them make the trip quicker and easier,” said Taos Mayor Daniel Barrone in a statement. “We are so pleased Taos Air continues to grow and provide door-to-door flights for people who want to experience Taos.”
Passengers will fly on a 30-seat Dornier 328 passenger jet operated by Advanced Air LLC — a Hawthorne, California charter operator.
Advanced Air launched a weekly direct route between Albuquerque and Burbank, California earlier this year.
Flights on Taos Air will be "comparable to traditional commercial flights" in terms of price, according to a release. The first flights from Taos to Los Angeles and Carlsbad will cost $190 and $180 for one way, respectively, according to Advanced Air's website.
David Norden, CEO of Taos Ski Valley, said California was the ski valley's fourth-largest market behind New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. Since Colorado is within reasonable driving distance from Taos, Taos Air capitalized on the heavy interest from Texas by offering direct air service to Austin and Dallas in December 2018. That will continue this year after Taos Air travelers made a $2 million impact on the town of Taos and Taos Ski Valley, and surrounding the towns of Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, Questa and Red River, in the first season of flights, according to a release.
When asked about expanding service beyond California and Texas, Norden said discussions are being had about possibly extending the air service beyond the winter season.
“Taos Air will now offer Southern California greater accessibility to Ikon Pass destination Taos Ski Valley and the incomparable Northern New Mexico art and cultural scene,” said Norden in a statement. “We are proud to be part of the thriving tourism industry in New Mexico and are grateful to all of our partners that have made this expanded service a reality.”