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Advanced Air Modifies and Expands Route Network
Hawthorne, Calif.-based Advanced Air has had quite the route change up in the past couple of months and has added routes to some communities that haven’t been part of the national air system in over ten years.
First up was Gallup, N.M., where the airline introduced service back in August 2022 with flights to Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. During the first three months of service in the community, they achieved a 69% load factor. This number usually would seem on the lower side, but it is actually a good number considering they haven’t had airline service since 2008 with Great Lakes Airlines.
Shortly after that, the airline announced they would no longer be partnering with and operating flights on behalf of Taos Air to the ski community of Taos, N.M. A few summers ago, AirlineGeeks flew on them from Austin to Carlsbad, Calif. with a connection in the small ski community. That trip report article can be found HERE, flights to that community are now operated by Dallas-based JSX.
Finally, just a few months ago, the airline announced they would be reintroducing another community back into the national air space system; Las Cruces, N.M. This community has been without commercial airline service for nearly 18 years. The last airline service Las Cruces had was back in 2005 when Westward Airways served the community with Pilatus PC-12s to Albuquerque.
Advanced Air began service here very recently, on Jan. 16, 2023, and will offer seven weekly flights to Albuquerque on their Beechcraft King Air 350s, which seat 8 passengers. They will offer two daily flights on Mondays and Fridays, and one flight a day Tuesdays through Thursdays, with no flights occurring on the weekends.
The new flights to Las Cruces are able to operate — thanks to the New Mexico Rural Air Service Enhancement or RASE for short — which provides a guarantee that small communities without scheduled operations could attract regular air service, like Advanced, to provide access to large or medium-sized airports. This program provides funding that comes from a mix of state and local city money to entice airlines to enter the smaller markets in New Mexico.
This RASE program is a version of the well-known Essential Air Service (EAS) program, the only difference is that the EAS program is a country-wide program. Gallup was the first community to receive funding under RASE, which is also flown to by Advanced Air. The RASE contract in Las Cruces began on Jan.16 with the flights and will run for two years until mid-January 2025.
With Las Cruces, this brings Advanced Air up to 12 destinations on a mix of King Air 350s, Pilatus PC-12s and Dornier328Jets, Which includes their seasonal destinations from Mammoth Lakes in California.
All routes and schedules discussed in this article are subject to change without notice.
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