Passenger air service will return to the Las Cruces International Airport in January 2023.
The announcement comes after the City of Las Cruces finalized a two-year contract that allows Advanced Airlines to provide weekday flights between Las Cruces an Albuquerque.
Advanced Airlines, based in Hawthorne, Calif., and more commonly referred to as Advanced Air, has agreed to provide seven flights per week – two flights each on Monday and Friday with one flight each day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – between Las Cruces and Albuquerque.
“This is a first step toward providing more convenient travel options for Las Crucens,” said Andy Hume, Administrator of the Las Cruces International Airport. “We’re excited about our new relationship with Advanced Airlines. They will be providing Las Crucens with the same top-notch service as they have for other New Mexico Cities.”
Advanced Air currently provides service between Silver City and Albuquerque, between Silver City and Phoenix, and between Gallup and Phoenix. Advanced Air’s hub is in Hawthorne and has connecting flights to Mammoth, Merced, Burbank and Carlsbad, Calif. It also has flights between Merced and Las Vegas, and between Hawthorne and Phoenix.
Advanced Air primarily utilizes the Beechcraft Super King Air 350 for its fleet. The twin-engine aircraft has a capacity of nine passengers.
The two-year contract includes a total budget of $3,850,000. The budget includes $1,750,000 in funding each year from the Rural Air Service Enhancement grant through the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The contract requires the City of Las Cruces to provide $175,000 annually during the two-year contract.
The Las Cruces International Airport last had passenger air service in 2005 with Mesa Airlines.
Hume said the airport would like to explore the possibility of adding passenger air service to Santa Fe and interstate service to Dallas-Ft. Worth and Phoenix.
“Passenger air service has been missing from Las Cruces for nearly 20 years,” Hume said. “This new service will help business travelers and opens travel options to connecting flights out of Albuquerque.
“We’re excited about the possibilities and that this new venture will focus more attention on the airport, the growth potential we have and especially with the Las Cruces Innovation and Industrial Park.
“Plain and simple, this provides another travel option for business, health care needs, recreation and tourism.”