Tomorrow, passengers will arrive in Reno, direct from Guadalajara, the first international flight in 15 years. The new service targets Reno’s 25 percent hispanic population. This time next year, the airport will also have ski-season flights from London. It is part of a major effort to reverse a trend of declining numbers of flights. Airport Board Member Andy Wirth says, the gaming and ski industries and Nevada state tourism agency are shifting marketing money away from advertising to air service.
“A full-page ad in Sports Illustrated isn’t going to necessarily make a big difference. However if you create an incremental new non-stop flight from that market to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport that will make the difference in terms of people coming here.”
Wirth says subsidies for each route can be up to one million dollars. The airport is also expected to announce a new flight from New York next month and working on connections later in the year to Atlanta and Minneapolis.