HARLINGEN — A two-decade dream is coming true at Valley International Airport with the announcement of the airport’s first regular non-stop flight to Las Vegas.
Frontier Airlines and airport officials made the announcement Tuesday, saying the twice-weekly flights will commence Sept. 9 on Thursdays and Sundays, with an initial introductory price of $49 for a one-way ticket.
On Nov. 1, the flights will switch to Mondays and Fridays.
“This destination is very popular, and we’re very well aware of that,” said Alfredo Gonzalez, international marketing representative for Frontier.
Denver-based Frontier is one of seven passenger airlines now operating out of Valley International Airport, bringing its low-cost fares to South Texas.
Frontier began offering non-stop service to and from VIA to Denver and Chicago in late 2018.
“We’ve been working for this for a long — 2008 in my case,” said Jose Mulet, director of air service and business development at VIA. “We’re very, very happy to have this flight to Vegas, and we hope we will add more flights as demand goes, and as our friends from across the river are allowed to cross over because they also like Vegas as much as we do.”
Mulet was referring to the current non-essential travel ban in place on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mulet said one of the key features to the Frontier flights to Vegas is the twice-weekly schedule, which offers some possible combinations for travelers.
“The flight will operate Thursday and Sunday, so you can do a Thursday to Sunday trip package, or do a Sunday through Thursday package,” Mulet said. “And if you go Sunday to Thursday, you usually get a lower price because it’s the slow part of the week.”
Valley International has previously offered flights to Las Vegas but only sporadically via charters.
Las Vegas’ convention business was virtually shut down for a year March-to-March with no major conventions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with capacity limits increasing at the city’s venues, and live entertainment now being allowed, more visitors are beginning to flow in.
“Conventions are starting to pick up in Vegas, which is probably the number one spot in the U.S. for convention sites,” Mulet said.
WHAT: Non-stop direct flights to Las Vegas
WHO: Frontier Airlines
WHEN: Beginning Sept. 9
COST: $49 one-way introductory offer