Tourists flying to Aspen this winter will have nearly $25,000 more places to sit on the plane than they did last year.
The number of airline seats available to Aspen travelers is set to jump about 14.3 percent this year compared to 2012, according to Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass and the local liaison to the airline industry.
The increase will push available seats to 196,804 from mid-December through the end of March — up from about 171,996 last year. The growth comes as a result of new service offered by Delta Air Lines from Atlanta and Minneapolis, but it’s also due to expansions in the service of one of Aspen’s current carriers — United Airlines.
United will offer three flights a day from Houston during some holiday periods, up from two flights per day last year. The airline also will boost service from San Francisco to two flights per day for most of the winter, although only one flight will be available on Wednesdays. There will be four United flights from Los Angeles during the peak holiday season, up from three in 2012.
American Airlines also will continue its winter service from Dallas and Los Angeles this winter, offering one flight per day from each destination to Aspen between Dec. 19 and March 31.
“This is a pretty healthy step up in terms of destinations, and the frequencies are also improving,” said Pitkin County Airport Director Jim Elwood.