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Community to See First Commercial Flights in Over 10 Years
Gallup, a city located along Interstate I-40 in western New Mexico with a population of just under 21,000 residents will finally be getting commercial air service after 12-years without one. The last airline to serve the community was Great Lakes Airlines, they offered flights to both Denver and Phoenix with an intermediate stop in Farmington, N.M. but that service stopped in 2008.
Hawthorne-Calif. based Advanced Air, will be starting service to this city on August 1, 2022, using one of their 8-seat King Air 350’s aircraft. The route will be flown once daily from their Phoenix Sky Harbor hub and will operate non-sterile out of the Swift FBO at the airport, in Gallup they will be using the main terminal at the Gallup Municipal Airport that carries the ICAO code of KGUP.
It is very rare to see airlines expanding into new airports as pilot and scheduling issues plague the airline industry at this current point in time. And even rarer still, to see a community as small as Gallup get back service after this many years, the community itself only has around 25,000 residents. Although the city is small they do have multiple Native American Reservations surrounding Gallup that add quite a bit to the population.
An employee at the airport did mention that they were awarded a grant to entice airline service, but it is unknown which grant they were awarded specifically. AirlineGeeks reached out to the airport and Gallup City manager’s office to clarify, but they didn’t respond in time for the publishing of this article.
The closest major airport with airline service is Albuquerque, which is a two-hour drive away from Gallup. Other airports nearby with service include Cortez, Colo., and Show Low, Ariz. both of which are just over two hours and are both parts of the Essential Air Service program, and also Flagstaff, Ariz. which is almost a three-hour drive and has two airlines. This flight will cut a 4.5-hour drive to Phoenix down to a scheduled flight time of just over an hour to and from Gallup.
Although this will be the carrier’s first time in Gallup, it won’t be their first time flying the state as they do serve three other airports in the state of New Mexico. In the state, they already fly to Albuquerque, Silver City, an Essential Air Service city, and Taos, which they operate on behalf of Taos Air using 30-seat Dornier 328Jets with flights to Texas and California.
The one daily flight to Gallup will start and end in Phoenix will the plane leaving in the late morning from Phoenix, with a departure time from Gallup at or just after 12noon on the weekdays. During the weekends the time does get pushed back two hours with the departure time from Phoenix being 11:45 a.m. and the departure out of Gallup being at 2:20 p.m.
This will give the airline three nonstop destinations out of their Phoenix hub and a one-stop flight. They will offer nonstop flights out of Phoenix to Silver City, N.M; Gallup, N.M.; and Hawthorne, Calif., they will also offer flights to Albuquerque from Phoenix but they will have an intermediate stop in Silver City first in both directions. Gallup will be once daily, Silver City is twice daily five times a week (for a total of 10-weekly flights), and Hathorne will be twice a week.
Flights to Gallup are now on sale on the carrier’s website, and we are glad to see another airport rejoining the passenger aviation network in the United States
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