Aspen’s commercial flight schedule for the upcoming winter season is nearly finalized, and closely resembles the number of last year’s offerings with an added flight here and a subtracted flight there.
The winter schedules are divided among what local airline liaison Bill Tomcich calls “sub-seasons” for the airlines — the two weeks from Dec. 4 to 18, the holiday rush from Dec. 19 through Jan. 5, Jan. 6 though Feb. 13, and Feb. 14 through April 2.
“Our overall winter capacity is nearly identical to last year,” Tomcich reported in Stay Aspen Snowmass’ October 2019 Occupancy Update & Executive Summary, which was released last week.
Tomcich is a consultant to the advisory group Fly Aspen Snowmass, a partnership among Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, Aspen Chamber of Commerce and Snowmass Tourism.
Tomcich noted that the number of available seats is up 2.1% from December through April over the same period last winter, “but there are quite a few subtle changes within each season.”
Here’s how the upcoming winter flight season is taking shape:
• Dec. 4 through 18 — United Airlines has added a fifth daily round trip between Aspen and Denver, as well as one nonstop offering between Aspen and San Francisco (the San Francisco flight didn’t start in 2018 until Dec. 19). Delta Air Lines, meanwhile, will fly between Aspen and Salt Lake City twice daily during this time period, down from three daily flights last year during the same period. American will have one daily Chicago flight, down from twice daily last year.
All told, 14 daily flights will be offered from Dec. 4 to 18, compared with 13 last year.
• Dec. 19 through Jan. 5 — United will fly between Aspen and San Francisco twice daily, down from three times a day last year during a similar time frame. Likewise, Delta has trimmed its Salt Lake City service from three times to twice daily, while American will fly to and from Chicago once daily, down from twice daily last winter.
“We are currently scheduled to see a peak of 38 daily flights over the holidays this year versus as many as 41 daily last year,” Tomcich said, adding that represents a 6.7% decrease.
• Jan. 6 through Feb. 13 — United will add a Saturday flight from both Denver and Houston, while American will fly between Aspen and Phoenix seven days a week. Delta won’t be serving Minneapolis/St. Paul on Saturdays like it did during the same period last year. Overall weekly capacity will be up 2.6% during this period, with 28 flights daily as well as 30 on Saturdays.
• Feb. 13 through April 2 — Starting either March 5 or March 8, United will up its Denver service with a ninth daily flight as well as a fifth Chicago flight. American will fly to Phoenix once day. Thirty-three daily flights will be offered during this time, with 34 on Saturdays. That accounts for a 4.5 percent in weekly capacity.