CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If you're planning on visiting the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, you'll be able to do so with a direct flight out of Corpus Christi International Airport. Direct flights to Denver are available now, but only for a limited time.
But they won't actually be "non-stop." They head from here to Hobby Airport in Houston. Still, airport officials hope it's a step toward an ever-growing list of options.
This may be the beginning of more possibilities out of the CCIA. Director of Aviation, Kevin Smith said 65 percent of area residents that fly to Denver are making that drive out of town to a bigger airport. Staff is looking to change that, so they met Southwest Airlines to crunch the numbers.
“It's not a non-stop yet. But the direct flight, getting that, was a win for us.”
It's a different take on 'non-stop', but for South Texans looking to head to Denver, you now have a more local option through CCIA.
“It's now going to show them how many people they can capture that they want to fly to Denver out of this market,” Smith said.
If you're wondering why it won't be non-stop, Smith tells 3NEWS - it's due to crew shortages.
“Southwest has about 12 planes right now they're just sitting on the ground, they don't have crews for them,” Smith said. “So until they get all the pilots and flight attendants hired and trained, it's gonna be a little bit longer.”
He predicts residents will have to wait until next summer for a traditional non-stop flight.
“It's about a 25-minute layover, not layover, but you're on the plane. So it's not bad at all,” Smith said.
According to Smith, more interest in flying locally could potentially lead to more possibilities for airlines like Southwest. But first, he says they need to see flyer numbers go up.
“They're going to take a look at it and see if they can revamp it maybe for Spring Break,” Smith said.
Flights to Denver will be available until November 4th. Depending on how much interest there is, Southwest may consider the holidays for flights to Denver.