Flights added at Reno/Tahoe |

Flights added at Reno/Tahoe

On the wings of Vanguard Airlines pulling out and Frontier moving in, two major airlines flying in and out of Reno/Tahoe International Airport are adding flights to metro areas.

United Airlines will fly to and from San Francisco and Denver beginning Oct. 31, the Washoe County Airport Authority announced Monday.

“We are pleased that United has stepped up service to two key critical markets,” airport authority Executive Director Krys T. Bart said in a statement. “Both are important hubs that provide global connections to nearly every major metropolitan area throughout the world.”

The Denver flight may accommodate 138 passengers. The San Francisco flight will seat 134. The new additions bring the number of United flights between Reno and San Francisco to five flights daily. The carrier flies to Denver three times a day.

On Friday, the airport authority announced that Alaska Airlines will add service to Portland on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays every week beginning Sept. 7. The Pacific Northwest carrier currently flies between Reno and Seattle three times a day.

Southwest Airlines, which has accounted for 40 percent of the airport’s business, also flies to the Oregon city three times daily.

“It’s basic supply and demand,” airport spokesman Adam Mayberry said of the added interest from the carriers Monday. “We’re seeing a correction in the market. There clearly is demand across the board.”

Airline load factors have soared in recent days to 85 percent, a record at the northern Nevada airport.

Mayberry also attributes the airlines’ investment in Reno to low operating costs.

Tourism officials in Lake Tahoe keep an eye on the Reno airport’s load factors and passenger counts as a barometer for potential of visitor dollars.

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