DIA-London service a boon for Aspen | AspenTimes.com

DIA-London service a boon for Aspen

ASPEN ” United Airlines will begin daily nonstop service between Denver and London next spring, boosting the connection to one of Aspen’s key international markets in the process.

The Chicago-based airline, which has the largest market share at Denver International Airport, said Thursday that the service will begin March 30.

“That would be huge. That is one of our top three international markets,” said Bill Tomcich, president of reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass and the resort’s liaison to the airline industry. “This is very exciting. Very, very cool.”

The United Kingdom is the third largest ski-season market for Aspen/Snowmass, behind Australia and Brazil, according to Tomcich.

Currently, travelers looking to fly nonstop between London’s Heathrow Airport and Denver must fly British Airways. For a Denver-Aspen connection, they also must purchase a flight on United. Purchasing connecting flights on one airline is far less expensive than buying separate tickets on separate airlines, Tomcich noted.

In fact, the fare between Aspen and Denver on United ” the primary carrier serving the Aspen airport ” is rarely a deal.

A check Wednesday on United fares between Denver and London in January ” currently offered via connections through either Chicago or Washington Dulles International Airport ” illustrates the expense of booking a United flight between Aspen and Denver. The lowest roundtrip fare from Denver to London was $353; the roundtrip fare from Aspen to Denver was $424.

“It’s actually cheaper to fly from Denver to London than it is to fly from Aspen to Denver,” Tomcich said.

United will introduce its daily nonstop flight between Denver and London with promotional fares, the airline said. Both passenger and cargo service will be offered.

The new service is part of United’s move to boost international business under the new Open Skies agreement, a treaty that allows additional airlines to operate at Heathrow, Tomcich explained. United, along with American Airlines, are the two U.S. carriers that have operated out of Heathrow, but United has not previously flown nonstop between Denver and Heathrow, he said.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com.

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