The fostering of a climate for economic growth and development through support from businesses large and small by the Capital Region Airport Commission has helped deliver the first ever non-stop service between Richmond International Airport and Denver International Airport.
US major, United Airlines will introduce a daily service on the route from April 5, 2016 using a 76-seat Embraer E175 configured with United First, Economy Plus, and Economy seating options. This will be the longest route (1,482 miles) and most westerly flight originating from Richmond International Airport, the busiest airport in central Virginia.
“United’s new daily service to Denver provides customers from throughout Virginia’s Capital Region convenient access to Colorado’s largest city and home to one of United’s largest hub airports,” said Kellie Clough, sales manager for United Airlines in Richmond.
More than 50,000 passengers a year are currently travelling between Richmond and Denver via indirect services, according to MIDT data. United Airlines has seen its own share of this traffic fluctuate over the past ten years and based on 2014 full year data was the second largest operator in the city pair with a 21.7 per cent share of the indirect traffic between Richmond and Denver. This was down from 27.3 per cent the previous year and a ten-year high of 31.1 per cent in 2008.
“We are beyond excited about United’s historic announcement of new nonstop service between “This is a highly-desired option to the west made possible by the city of Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico fostering a climate for economic growth and development, support from businesses large and small, and efforts of partners at the Greater Richmond Chamber and Richmond Region Tourism,” said John V Mazza, Jr, Chairman, Capital Region Airport Commission.
A 2008 study by Chmura Economics and Analytics reported that Richmond International Airport and its tenants then contributed annual sales of nearly $1 billion in the local economy based on the measurable benefits of airport operations, business efficiencies, visitor spending, and their associated ripple effects.
United Airlines already provides important hub connections from Richmond International Airport. Its mainline business has a daily flight from Chicago O’Hare using Airbus A320 Family equipment, while its regional partners also offer multiple daily flights from Chicago, Houston, Newark and Washington. The US major has between an eleven and 12 per cent share of departure capacity from Richmond International Airport and is the third largest operator behind American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, based upon 2016 published schedules.