When direct airline service between Santa Fe and Phoenix starts this week, the arriving jet will be greeted with a water cannon salute by the Santa Fe Fire Department, comments from Gov. Susana Martinez, a Champagne toast from the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce and lunch courtesy of Shoot New Mexico, a group that aims to bring more film production to the state.
The daily American Airlines flights will link New Mexico’s capital not only with Arizona but with the West Coast. For many, the regional jet service, operated under the American Eagle banner, will replace a direct connection with Los Angeles’ LAX airport that American discontinued in 2015.
And for those not simply headed to and from Los Angeles, Santa Fe Municipal Airport Manager Cameron Humphres notes that Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport connects to dozens of California cities as well as the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Asia.
The Phoenix flights on Dec. 15 will join other nonstops from Santa Fe’s airport: American connections with the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and United Airlines service to Denver. Humphres said having three major airline hubs reachable in all directions gives travelers to and from Santa Fe access to one-stop destinations around the world.
The daily flights will depart Phoenix at 9:49 a.m. and arrive at the Santa Fe Municipal Airport at 11:19 a.m. The same 70-seat jetliner will then turn around and leave Santa Fe at 12:05 p.m., arriving at Sky Harbor at 1:35 p.m.