New Airline Creates Fewer Layovers For Oklahoma Air Travelers

Monday, February 5th 2007, 10:31 am
By: News On 6

A new airline is coming to Tulsa International. This April ExpressJet will start flying through Tulsa. The News on 6’s Emory Bryan reports on how this airline plans to get customers.

It's not a new airline, but a new service for Tulsa under a new name. The flight plan for ExpressJet is to add new non-stop flights from Tulsa to the south and western U.S.

"We hope to save the customer some time and provide them with comfort on our new aircraft," said ExpressJet’s Ewan Barr.

ExpressJet already flies into the Tulsa market working under the name Continental Express. Those flights will continue, and ExpressJet will begin eight new flights to Tulsa beginning in April. The new non-stop flights on ExpressJet are from Tulsa to Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, Austin, San Antonio and Albuquerque. Express flies to 18 other cities with a stop along the way.

"Time is money and being able to get somewhere directly, to these new cities directly, is a huge benefit," said Tulsa Chamber President Mike Neal.

The Chamber believes it's key to get new business in Tulsa.

"They look at communities with direct flights and direct air service, so being able to have significantly more flights to cities across this country aides significantly in the recruitment of new businesses," said Neal.

The last time there was a big announcement of new non-stop service it was Great Plains, a startup airline that ultimately went bankrupt. But, ExpressJet has ten years of history and more than 250 aircraft already flying under the Continental name.

"This is not something we've dreamed up over the last few days,” Barr said. “This has been about a three year process to develop these markets with our research."

There are now 15 cities that can be reached with non-stop flights from Tulsa; ExpressJet will add six new cities to the list. They haven't published prices or the exact schedule yet, except to announce the eight daily flights to six cities. There will be two flights each day to Austin and Albuquerque.