LAS CRUCES, NM – Passenger air service will return to Las Cruces International Airport in January 2023, the City Council announced.
The announcement comes after the city of Las Cruces finalized a two-year contract that allows Advanced Airlines to offer weekday flights between Las Cruces and Albuquerque.
Advanced Airlines, based in Hawthorne, California, and more commonly known as Advanced Air, has agreed to provide seven flights per week – two flights each Monday and Friday with one flight each day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – between Las Cruces and Albuquerque.
“This is a first step in providing more convenient travel options for Las Cruces. We are excited about our new relationship with Advanced Airlines. They will provide the city with the same first-class service they have for other cities in New Mexico,” said Andy Hume, Las Cruces International Airport Manager.
Advanced Air currently provides service between Silver City and Albuquerque, between Silver City and Phoenix, and between Gallup and Phoenix. Advanced Air’s hub is in Hawthorne and has connecting flights to Mammoth, Merced, Burbank and Carlsbad, California. It also has flights between Merced and Las Vegas, and between Hawthorne and Phoenix.
The airline also primarily uses the Beechcraft Super King Air 350 for its fleet. The twin-engine aircraft seats nine passengers.
The two-year contract includes a total budget of $3,850,000. The budget includes $1.75 million per year from the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s Rural Air Service Enhancement grant.
In addition, the contract calls for the city of Las Cruces to contribute $175,000 annually for the two-year duration of the agreement.
According to information from local officials, Las Cruces International Airport last had passenger air service in 2005 with Mesa Airlines. Hume said the air terminal would like to explore the possibility of adding service to Santa Fe, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Phoenix.
“Las Cruces has lacked passenger air service for nearly 20 years. This new service will help business travelers and opens up travel options to connecting flights from Albuquerque. We are excited about the possibilities and the fact that this new venture will bring more focus to the airport, the growth potential we have and especially to the Las Cruces Industrial and Innovation Park,” said Hume.
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