(UPDATE 6/11/19): According to airport officials with 180,000 boarding’s a year at the Great Falls International Airport traveling at times comes with a cost. It’s why community leaders are starting an initiative to lower flight costs.
The Great Falls Chamber of Commerce says in order to raise $400,000 for the Low-Cost Airfare Initiative, they're asking for local businesses and our community to donate.
They’re hoping to raise half ($200,000) of the money by September 1st, 2019 because it gives them the ability to have conversations with various airlines about the incentive funds they have. Great Falls International Airport says this initiative is looking to bring down costs of more flights including a direct flight to L.A., year-round traveling to Chicago and bring Frontier Airlines back.
"I've done a lot of traveling but were at an age where we don't travel anymore so it wouldn't really affect us but I think the younger people,” said Susan LaVoie, a resident in Great Falls.
Some folks in Great Falls say they'd like to see a direct flight to Boise, Idaho or see these costs added into their taxes.
The chamber says it would be nice to see a direct flight to Boise, Idaho but the air routes are now all hubs and spoke routes. Meaning Boise is considered a spoke route and you can’t get there on a direct flight.
"If you can just shorten your time so you don't have a really long layover, I think that would help too,” said Angie Atkins, a resident in Great Falls.
The Great Falls Chamber of Commerce says the strategy behind this incentive is it will bring in more routes and airlines resulting in driving down ticket prices.
The Great Falls Chamber of Commerce says, they did an initiative similar to this back in 2011/2012, and seven years later their fund is now depleted which is why they’re re-launching the campaign.
They haven't raised any money yet since they've just launched this campaign and any donation you make is tax deductible.
To donate to the Low-Cost Airfare Initiative click here.
GREAT FALLS - We all want to fly cheap! Here's one way the Great Falls International Airport is trying to make your flights cost less.
According to Great Falls International Airport, with 180,000 boarding's a year, we all know traveling comes with a cost. Which is why the airport is looking at starting a new initiative to make coming and going less financially stressful.
In 2011, the Great Falls International Airport and Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce started an incentive called the Low-Cost Airfare Initiative. It was targeted at increasing the number of flights they had in order to drive down ticket prices.
Now, almost 10 years later, the airport is out of their original incentive dollars, and looking to bring down the cost of more flights including a direct flight to L.A., year-round traveling to Chicago, and bring Frontier Airlines back. But, there’s a catch: money for this incentive will come from the community.
"A small amount of money from the community gets multiplied into the tourism industry, businesses that travel for business, and the families trying to get home to see families for the holidays,” said John Faulkner, the Great Falls International Airport Director.
In 2010, the average one-way airfare was $214. In 2014, it had declined to $194, saving the community $3.6 million a year in lower airfare. In 2018, the average airfare was $211 meaning if they have the incentive program it will increase flights and lower cost.
We asked how much money they need for their new incentive, but they weren't able to say.