COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- After the city invested a whopping $2.5 million to to get Southwest Airlines to Colorado Springs, the first plane finally touched down on a Colorado Springs Airport Runway.
The flight landed just before 10 a.m. Thursday, March 11. Passengers from the flight were greeted with quite the celebration after their 17-minute flight.
The airline has 13 daily departures to five major cities: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.
More people flying out of the Springs, means more people flying in. Mayor John Suthers said he hopes the city will get to cash out on their investment - through what airline officials call "the Southwest effect."
"When Southwest goes into a legacy market like this - you see fares go down, and traffic go up," said Jason Van Eaton, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Real Estate at Southwest Airlines. "A lot of people are going to the beach and the mountains, so I think we are going to see a lot of traffic here very quickly"
Mayor John Suthers boarded Southwest's first departing flight from the Colorado Springs Airport, which was headed to Denver. Suthers said with the arrival of Southwest to Colorado Springs, Denver International Airport now has some competition.
"You can fly from Colorado Springs to any one of those five Southwest hubs, and get to any place in the country with one-stop. We're hoping that convenience will convince people it's a lot easier to fly from here than from Denver, and hassle with parking, pay for the parking," said Suthers. "When it's all said and done, Colorado Springs will be one of, if not the most, economic resilient cities in terms of the Covid crisis."