Air Transport World

Ski resorts guarantee breakeven operation to AA. (American Airlines)

Ski resorts guarantee breakeven operation to AA

Following up on a successful test run during the 1984-85 ski season, American Airlines is jumping "enthusiastically' into the winter sports arena this year in three major Rocky Mountain resorts, according to American's Al Becker, director-external communications. Working with area business, which have in effect guaranteed it at least a breakeven situation in all three communities, American will offer daily flights throughout the season to Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte (Gunnison), Colo., from Dallas/F Worth and Chicago.

American started its "skilift' last year at the request of two principals of the Crested Butte Mountain Resort who put up a letter of credit guaranteeing a season breakeven for the airline if it would come in to Gunnison Airport, 28 miles from the ski area. "The results,' says Becker, "were outstanding. And we're eager to expand in this whole market.'

Crested Butte Resort Communications Director Bob Gillen agrees with American's assessment, estimating that the average load factor on the 1954-85 flights, which originated out of several American hubs, was better than 67%. "We think this is phenomenal for a startup service,' he says. …

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