TWIN FALLS • With a rebounding economy and big companies like Chobani needing an international outlet, a new 8:20 a.m. flight was added to the schedule at Joslin Field, Magic Valley Regional Airport, beginning June 3. The time was chosen to provide a way out of the Magic Valley at a “critical time” for business travelers. With the addition of the 8:20 a.m. flight, there are now five daily flight times available from Twin Falls.
“The availability of commercial air service is a critical ingredient for our community’s quality of life and economic vitality,” Airport Manager Bill Carberry wrote in an email to the Times-News.
Business leaders around the Magic Valley voiced concern about the lack of departure times out of Twin Falls, said Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce President Shawn Barigar. In response, Carberry and Barigar met with SkyWest last year and requested a new flight.
“When we’re looking at recruiting business here,” Barigar said, “the ability to get them in, show them what we need to show them, talk to them and get them out is important because time is money. Truthfully, in this day and age, time is more valuable than money.”
Currently, the only morning flight leaves Twin Falls at 6:50 a.m. If a traveler misses that flight, Barigar said, they have to wait until afternoon to get a transfer from Salt Lake City.
“If they missed that morning flight, they’d have a hard time getting to their final destination,” he said.
If customers utilize the new 8:20 a.m. departure, Barigar said, it will increase the chances other airlines will add flights or routes from the Magic Valley.
“We’re excited to have the partnership with SkyWest adding that service and we’re hopeful the community will take an advantage of it. Because if we demonstrate an even greater demand, we may be able to convince them that there’s a good business plan for additional flights,” Barigar said.
“The new flight will help along a growing Twin Falls economy,” he said. “It’s one of those amenities that you look around a community, you need to have some sort of capacity to attract the kind of economic growth that we have here. It’s things like a quality school system, a junior college, state of the art hospital and air service. Those kinds of things are part of the whole package when you’re talking about what makes your community tick.”
Twin Falls is fortunate to get a new flight, Barigar said, especially since the airline industry as a whole is facing problems.
“We need to be thankful that we have commercial air service at all,” Barigar said, “and in a market this size.
Looking toward the future, Barigar said, there is plenty of expansion available at the airport to meet the needs of a growing population.