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American Airlines Arrives in Montana

American Airlines returned to Montana with great fanfare on June 2, 2016 when a direct flight from Dallas/Ft. Worth landed in Bozeman, the state’s busiest airport.

The arrival of American Airlines means two big things for Bozeman. The first is the non-stop, seasonal service to Dallas/Ft. Worth. Brian Sprenger, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport Director, said that connection was one of the largest direct markets the Bozeman airport had been lacking.  And it means connections around the world. He said “Having access to that network means we have the ability to connect to anywhere in the world that American flies. “

Also new this month will be JetSuite X, an all first class airline with seasonal service to San Jose, California. The public can begin buying seats later this month on regularly scheduled flights for this public charter services operated by JetSuite. It will be the Bozeman airport’s 7th airline and the 16th destination.

The Bozeman airport has been the largest airport in Montana by passenger count since 2013, and the eight busiest airport in the northwest region. Last year it had 1 million passengers arrive and depart.

Another big event on their horizon is construction of the first new runway at a commercial airport in the state in over 30 years. Sprenger said the runway will be focused on their general aviation and flight school traffic that has been growing significantly over the past 10 years.

And the airport hopes to begin construction late next year on a parking garage for paid parking in combination with rental cars; it is in the early planning stage. And before the end of the decade the airport would like to work on possible concourse expansion.

Sprenger gave credit to the great things happening at his airport to the partnerships with the tourism and business communities, resorts, and local Gallatin area chambers of commerce.  He said their support has been instrumental in the airport’s success.   

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.