Denver Air Connection greenlighted to continue serving San Luis Valley Regional Airport

On the afternoon of June 10, these Denver Air Connection employees ready this ERJ-145 aircraft for a flight to Denver. The airline recently was awarded a federal Essential Air Service subsidy to continue serving the airport for the next two years. Courier photo by John Waters.

ALAMOSA — The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a federal Essential Air Service subsidy to Denver Air Connection (DAC) to continue passenger operations at the San Luis Valley Regional Airport in Alamosa. The airline will use 30-seat Dornier 328 and 50-seat ERJ-145 jet aircraft between Alamosa and Denver for the next two years under the terms of the agreement. The Essential Air Service program is designed to guarantee that small airports like Alamosa continue to have passenger service.

Denver Air Connection spokesman Jon Coleman told the Valley Courier, "We thank the USDOT for their hard work in the EAS program. We are grateful to the City and County for their continued partnership and support. We've seen steady growth in enplanements over the last year, and will continue to bring the San Luis Valley the reliable air service the region needs and deserves. We've seen such use of the early and later flights, we plan to keep those in place for the foreseeable future, including next winter." DAC first began serving the airport in June 2022.

According to federal documents, "By this Order, the U.S. Department of Transportation (the Department) selects Key Lime Air Corporation d/b/a Denver Air Connection (DAC) to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) at Alamosa, Colorado, for the two-year term from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2026.

"DAC will provide Alamosa with a total of 12 weekly nonstop round trips to Denver International Airport (DEN), using 30-seat Dornier 328 jet aircraft or 50-seat ERJ-145 aircraft, at a first-year annual subsidy of $5,679,884, and a second-year annual subsidy of $6,077,476.2 Background By Order 2022-5-9 (May 13, 2022), the Department selected DAC to provide EAS at Alamosa, for a two-year term from June 8, 2022, through June 30, 2024. DAC provides Alamosa with 12 nonstop round trips per week from San Luis Valley Regional Airport (ALS) to DEN using 30-seat Dornier 328 jet aircraft or 50-seat ERJ-145 aircraft at an annual subsidy rate of $5,242,836."