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Business and the Economy
Business and economy news and issues in the Ozarks.

Branson Airport Offers New Destinations

Michele Skalicky


Starting in May, travelers out of the Branson Airport will have new destination options and larger airplanes to get there.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

The Branson Airport has announced service to three additional locations.  Beginning May 6th, Branson AirExpress, operated by Orange Air, will offer non-stop flights to New Orleans and Cincinatti.  It will also offer service to Cancun with one stop and no plane change in New Orleans.  Rachel Wood is the airport’s spokesperson.

"Branson AirExpress, operated by Orange Air, will operate MD-83, 150-seat jet aircraft with comfortable stretch seating in every row at no additional charge.  In addition, Orange Air offers non-alcoholic, complimentary beverage and snack service on each flight," she said.

Introductory one-way rates will be $99 for the U.S. destinations and $199 for Cancun. 

The new cities bring the number of destinations the airport offers to seven.  The others are Houston and Denver, operated by Elite Airways in CRJ-200 (50-seat Jet Aircraft) and Chicago and Austin, operated by Buzz Airways in Jetstream 41 aircraft (30 seats).  Flights to all of the airport’s destinations may be booked now at or by calling 1-888-FLY-BKG1.

Southwest and Frontier cancelled service to the Branson Airport last year.  Since then, the airport has relied on charter brand service.

Wood says they’re working to attract a new network carrier.

"The carriers that are available have shrunk over the years because of all the mergers and aquisitions, so we keep in regular conversation with all of those carriers, but we have some that we're working on pursuing a little bit harder than others, and we're, I would say, progressing with those efforts," she said.

Steve Critchfield is a member of the Taney County Partnership, an economic development group.  He says the new service should give the airport a good footing after the loss of the two major carriers.

"Because, frankly, there's a lot of start-up airlines like Orange Air, which basically is--it's very well funded, it's owned by a company that leases airplanes to all the major airlines in the world, so, I mean, they know the business, but there's a lot of start-up airlines beginning to fill the niche when Southwest and the other guys are now leaving small airports," he said.

He says all of the nation’s smaller airports are competing for those services, and the Branson Airport is in the lead.


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