Airline shares ideas to boost market

ALAMOSA — A joint work session was held on Wednesday between Alamosa County and Boutique Air. Since the Essential Air Service contract has been awarded to Boutique, discussion is now moving forward on what improvements in service can be made.

Shawn Simpson, CEO of Boutique Air, gave a presentation on possibilities for improvement that the airline could offer to the Alamosa County Commissioners and some members of the board for the San Luis Valley Regional Airport.

According to analytic data that has been gathered by Boutique, Alamosa is currently seeing the highest rate of passengers at its airport ever. There are approximately just over 300 passengers per week. The result is around 15,600 passengers per year. Boutique has also determined that early morning flights are not as popular with customers but Sunday afternoons are very popular. There are 24 round trips per week that go through Alamosa. The winter is the most unpredictable for flights but the summer trends have shown to be extremely busy in the past three years.

One of the key objectives in the EAS contract is to reach 10,000 enplanements. Simpson offered some ideas on how this might be accomplished. They included an improved schedule, additional flights to Denver, adding flights to Cortez, Taos, etc. and improved marketing.  The idea of having seasonal specials and offers was also discussed.

There was consensus among the group that offering flights at convenient times is crucial. Boutique is open to suggestions on ways that Alamosa and the rest of the Valley can be better served. It was also noted that Boutique’s connection to United Airlines service is important for customers to know about.

Simpson pointed out that the quickest way to reach the 10,000 enplanements is to increase the number of flights that are offered. Boutique will continue to explore options and work closely with Alamosa County to make its services in the San Luis Valley as efficient and effective as possible.