Airlines grow more flexible |

Airlines grow more flexible

Naomi Havlen

The winter flight schedule in and out of Aspen is getting more flexible to accommodate travelers during peak times, according to a local travel official.The overall seat count coming in and out of the Aspen airport for this winter is unchanged from last year. But a refined winter schedule will probably be able to take passengers between Denver and Aspen “more profitably than in any recent years,” said Stay Aspen Snowmass President Bill Tomcich.Airlines have both added more flights during popular times when seats were unavailable, such as early December, and eliminated flights that have always seen a lack of passengers, such as Thanksgiving afternoon and late Christmas Eve. Tomcich said with this reasoning, he wouldn’t be surprised to see last-minute “tweaks” in the schedule in place for January through March.The changes mean that United has increased capacity 40 percent from Nov. 29 through Dec. 15 with eight daily flights from Denver, compared with five last year. Tomcich said that time period is typically short on seats since many of the seasonal flights out of the Eagle airport have yet to begin.The airline has also added an extra flight with 88 seats every Saturday from January through March. Only one or two daily United Express flights are going to be 37-seat turboprop flights, Tomcich added, with all others being 88- to 100-passenger BAE-146 jets.Northwest Airlines has doubled up on its Saturday service from Memphis in January, and has expanded daily Memphis service by three weeks to include the ESPN Winter X Games in late January and Comedy Fest in early February.In addition, Northwest has added an unprecedented fourth trip on Saturdays from Minneapolis/St. Paul, giving it a total of six flights every Saturday throughout February and March from its two primary hubs (the other being Memphis).Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is

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