Tri-Cities Airport officials working to expand services, flight options

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Tri-Cities Airport officials said they continue to work to expand services and flight options for customers. 

It comes less than a week after officials announced the addition of a new non-stop flight to Dallas.

It’s the first non-stop flight to be added to the airport in ten years, according to Executive Director Gene Cossey.

He said the goal is to continue to add additional services in the future.

“We want to try to not only expand those services but also look at the other airlines out there. We will be talking to United, we will be talking to Frontier. We will be talking to anybody that’s really interested in adding service here,” Cossey said.

He said they are working to add non-stop flights to destinations like Chicago and New York City.

For travelers like Brent Davis, he drives to other airports like Charlotte to save money on airfare.

“We were looking at trips to Seattle out of the Tri-Cities, it was going to run about $700 to $800 a person and out of Charlotte we got them for just over 300 a person,” Davis said. “To me, it’s worth it to save the extra $300, $400 just to drive.”

The average cost for a roundtrip ticket at the Tri-Cities Airport is $285, according to Cossey.

“The airlines have full control over the price,” Cossey said. “We don’t have any control over that and then the airlines are really driven by market demand.”

Another factor Cossey said contributes to the ticket prices is the current pilot shortage in the U.S.

It’s an issue he said the U.S. has had a problem with for several years.

“It’s making it really difficult for us to attract new flights and new services,” Cossey said. “The airlines have to choose what is the best airport for them to put their limited resources in.”

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