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Reno airport to add nonstop flights to London during ski season

Flights between Reno and Europe have never been available, but that’s changing next year with nonstop service to and from London. This is part of the Reno airport’s strategy to raise its international profile.

This new addition comes on the heels of last month’s announcement that Reno-Tahoe International Airport will be offering nonstop flights to Guadalajara, Mexico. The flight which is set to begin this December will be the first time in 15 years the airport has offered international travel.

The airport hired an outside company to study the economic impact of the Mexico route and found it would bring an estimated $20 million each year to the area. Spokesman Brian Kulpin says the one to London would have a much larger impact.

“We know it would be even higher," Kulpin says. "When you’re flying people who would be coming for literally 10-day holidays from England, that’s really important for us—more than $20 million in impact for our region.”

According to Kulpin, the new international routes are part of the airport’s overall strategy to promote the Reno and Lake Tahoe region. Partnering with Thomas Cook Airlines, which is based in England, will specifically cater to Europeans interested in traveling abroad for extended ski vacations. Kulpin says adding the new service also helps the airport standout in a cutthroat industry.

“We compete against about 400 American airports for air service. We’re all competing for the same flights, the same airlines.”

The London flights won’t take-off until the end of next year, but once they do, they will run for about four months during peak ski season, between December and April.     

Esther Ciammachilli is a former part-time broadcaster at KUNR Public Radio.
Anh Gray is a former contributing editor at KUNR Public Radio.