AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - You could soon be able to fly direct from Amarillo to a brand new destination.
Thanks to federal grant funding, Amarillo travelers can soon begin flying straight into Phoenix.
Amarillo's Rick Husband International Airport is one of six airports nationwide to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to enhance air service.
The airport is using some of the $750,000 in grant money and $150,000 of local sponsorship to start flights directly to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
"It doesn't make a lot of sense to fly east in order to fly west, and probably 6 of our top 10 destinations are on the west coast," said Sara Freese, Director of Aviation for Rick Husband. "That helps our passengers save some time by flying direct to Phoenix and then jumping off there to go to their destination."
Phoenix is one of those top ten destinations, especially for those traveling on business.
"We do have a lot of travelers that do fly to Phoenix so I see this being a great opportunity for our passengers," said Freese.
Negotiations are being made with SkyWest Airlines, which would fly under American Airlines, to have two daily direct flights from Amarillo to Phoenix.
These flights could start taking off as early as next spring.
And airport officials continue looking for more direct destinations to make Amarillo's airport more desirable to travelers.
"It's really important to use your local airport," said Freese. "When you drive somewhere else you're showing the airlines that they can make money at another airport, so if we're not using our airport the airlines won't continue to put the planes in the market."
Large international airports, like LAX and Chicago O'Hare, are other places Freese is looking into for Amarillo's next possible direct destinations.
Top 10 Flight Destinations for Travelers Flying Out of Amarillo in 2015:
- Dallas Love Field
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
- Denver International Airport
- McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas)
- William P. Hobby Airport (Houston)
- Austin–Bergstrom International Airport
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston)
- San Antonio International Airport
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- Orlando International Airport