Discount carrier ViaAir plans to boost Austin presence, add flights


Highlights

ViaAir will begin nonstop service from Austin to Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Tucson, Ariz.

The carrier already offers seasonal service from Austin to Branson, Mo., and Steamboat Springs, Colo.

An airline you’ve probably never heard of has big plans for Austin in 2018.

Florida-based ViaAir will begin nonstop service from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Oklahoma City, Okla., and Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 18.

The discount carrier already offers seasonal service from Austin to Branson, Mo., and Steamboat Springs, Colo., operating out of the airport’s South Terminal.

Other carriers that operate out of the South Terminal, at 10000 Logistics Lane, include Allegiant Air and Sun Country Airlines. All other carriers operate out of the airport’s main terminal.

The two terminals are on the same property, but are not connected.

ViaAir plans to expand its presence in Austin, with some of its flight crews and maintenance operations eventually being based at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Matthew Macri, ViaAir’s vice president of operations, said in the airline’s announcement.

“Austin is an amazing, fast-growing city,” Macri said. “We are thrilled to bring the convenience of direct flights to the markets of Tucson and Oklahoma City as the start of expanded service in the region. We will roll out additional cities throughout (2018) as we hope to be known as Austin’s hometown airline.”

Some other cities across the nation that ViaAir serves include Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Denver and Orlando.

Oklahoma City flights will operate four days a week – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – leaving at 5:05 p.m. and arriving at 6:25 p.m. Return service departs at 7:10 p.m. and gets into Austin at 8:30 p.m. Fares start at $99 at flyviaair.com.

The Tucson flights will run three days a week – Monday, Thursday and Friday – departing at 10:50 a.m. and arriving at 12:20 p.m. Return flights leave at 1:05 p.m. and land in Austin at 4:10 p.m. Online tickets are available for as low as $109.

ViaAir, which was founded in 1997, operates a fleet of aircraft that includes Embraer’s 50-seat ERJ-145 and 30-seat EMB-120 models.

“ViaAir’s continued growth, connecting two new nonstop destinations to Austin, is welcomed,” Austin-Bergstrom International Airport executive director Jim Smith said. “These Oklahoma City and Tucson additions bring more options for customers and can ease new business and tourism connections for Central Texans.”

ViaAir said it is teaming up with Embark Aviation to expand its Austin service, with Embark handling marketing, network planning, pricing and revenue management duties.

In addition to ViaAir, Delta Air Lines is also in expansion mode at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. It was revealed this week that, starting in May, the airline will kick off nonstop flights to Cincinnati, Ohio.



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