SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

Los Angeles World Airports

October 28, 2009 14:00 ET

LA/Ontario International Airport to Offer New Daily Nonstop Service to Denver and Chicago on Southwest Airlines

ONTARIO, CA--(Marketwire - October 28, 2009) - Travelers using LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) will now have the option of flying nonstop on Southwest Airlines from Ontario, California to Denver, Colorado for as low as $79 one-way effective March 14, 2010.

On the same day, Southwest Airlines will also introduce daily nonstop service from ONT to Chicago, Illinois. The additional service will provide passengers with more efficient connections to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country.

"The new service to Denver and Chicago is significant for ONT," said Jess Romo, ONT's manager. "Air service to these two major hub cities will provide better service for business and leisure travelers, stimulate passenger traffic at ONT, and address regional air traffic demand. Regionalization is critical to Southern California's air traffic issues. Therefore, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) continues to make regionalization a priority with strategic approaches including partnerships with both private and public agencies in targeted Southern California regions."

Currently, a regionalization consultant for LAWA, which owns and operates Los Angeles International, LA/Ontario and Van Nuys airports, is developing a partnership with south Orange County cities and agencies and the Disney Resort to make traveling into ONT more efficient and attractive. This includes travel and lodging discounts and incentives, and ground transportation service from ONT to Disneyland.

Meanwhile, LAWA's Air Service Development division continues to pursue potential air carriers who could be better served by ONT and its vast and viable service area. Airlines currently serving ONT include AeroMexico, Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, Great Lakes, Southwest, United and US Airways.

"We're very excited about the new service to Denver and Chicago," said City of Ontario Mayor Paul Leon. "These are huge destinations that are in great demand by travelers and much needed at ONT. What makes it especially attractive to the traveling public is that it's being offered by Southwest Airlines -- a discount air carrier and ONT's largest airline."

Located approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, ONT is located in the city of Ontario in Southern California's "Inland Empire" region with a population of over four million. The expansive area, covering San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, has one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S.

"In September, ONT's passenger traffic was down only 10.6 percent, which reflects the absence of ExpressJet's passenger count," said Romo. "ExpressJet, which significantly augmented ONT's overall passenger traffic by almost 30 percent, began service at ONT in September 2007 and discontinued service in September 2008. The 10 percent decrease is more defined and indicative of how the economy and restructuring in the airline industry are affecting ONT."

ONT features a 530,000-square-foot twin terminal complex capable of handling up to 10 million passengers a year and two runways that can accommodate any type of aircraft. listed ONT as one of the "best alternate" airports in Southern California.

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