BOISE, Idaho — The Boise Airport expects to see record-breaking numbers of travelers passing through this summer. Airlines have added several new flights to the growing Boise area this year.
"Passenger travel is probably going to be busier this summer than we have seen possibly ever," Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp said.
The airport had big expectations going into 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted many of those planned projects and ventures. With more people getting ready to travel again, many national airlines are looking at Boise.
"Post COVID, airlines are really focusing on leisure markets and markets where there has been a strong economy and growth," Hupp said.
The Boise Airport (BOI) has added flights to New York, Nashville, Austin, and other major cities this year. Southwest Airlines announced they are adding even more flights to BOI.
Southwest is bringing back daily service to Chicago-Midway, San Diego and San Jose, as well as adding more flights to Las Vegas. Plus, the airline is adding non-stop services to places like Dallas Love Field and Orange County.
The added nonstop flights bring the number of nonstop services at the airport to 27, which is a big growth from May 2019's offering of 20 nonstop flights and 15 nonstop flights in 2012.
"I think airlines are seeing Boise as an opportunity post-pandemic," Hupp said. "When people aren't flying internationally, they're looking for other opportunities where can they put service that can be successful and I think they see Boise as a growing market."
Compared to 2019, the most recent record-breaking year, Boise Airport expects to see a 20% increase in capacity this summer.
"It's really great to see passengers ready to travel and all of these additional flights give people more options," Hupp said.
Not only do these services get more Idahoans up in the air, but it also brings more tourists to the area. More visitors traveling into the state means more money for the local economy.
"People will be staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, renting cars, doing all the things that people do when they're on vacation," Hupp said.
Because of the record number of travelers expected over the next few months, Hupp encourages people to arrive at the airport earlier the usual. She recommends people come about 90 minutes to two hours before their flight.
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