Gunnison airport is expanding service into the region for the 2008/09 ski season and has added three cities to its list of direct flights.

In past years, direct flights were available from Denver and Dallas. This year Salt Lake City, Atlanta and Chicago have been added with Delta joining United and American Airlines as carriers to bring skiers to Crested Butte.

Financial arrangements with the three airlines flying into Gunnison comes to $1.4 million in air guarantees. The air guarantee program has been underwritten by the Regional Transportation Authority and Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

The RTA and CBMR are providing Delta Airlines $300,000 in guarantees to provide a daily flight from Salt Lake City, Utah, on a 50-passenger regional jet. They will also provide a $200,000 guarantee for Delta to provide a Saturdays-only flight from Atlanta on a 188-passenger Boeing 757. There are more than 4,000 potential round-trip seats between the two destinations.

American Airlines will be flying a single, daily 737 from Dallas for a guarantee of $500,000. In addition, the RTA is providing American Airlines a guarantee of $250,000 to run a Saturday-only flight from Chicago on a 757 jet.

With a $400,000 guarantee United will provide three daily flights out of Denver on a 66-passenger regional jet.

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