MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis airport continues to grow as it recently made another announcement about a nonstop flight to Phoenix. The announcement is just one of many made this year, and may not be the last.
"For some time, our passengers have told us that they want more connectivity to the West," said Pace Cooper, Chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) Board of Commissioners, in a written statement. "Today's announcement is one that our passengers will undoubtedly welcome."
It's the 12th major flight announcement of the year.
"It has been a very good year. 2015 has been strong," Memphis SCAA President and CEO Scott Brockman said during a board meeting at Memphis International on Wednesday. "It will also give travelers the ability to connect through that hub to the west coast."
The nonstop flight will begin on March 3, 2016 and leave Memphis daily at 7:30 a.m. with a return flight from Phoenix leaving at 6:50 p.m. daily.
"I think any new nonstop flight is a fabulous thing," traveler Margo Metz said.
Metz, who was traveling to Jacksonville, Florida via Atlanta, is excited for new options in light of the difficulty travel has been in the past few years.
"I had to book some coworkers to St. Louis last week and they had to go through Atlanta to get to St. Louis and that seems ridiculous, so I support any new non-stop, like we used to have, everywhere," Metz said.
American Airlines is officially the largest airline flying out of Memphis, with 26 flights daily. However, airport leaders said this announcement is not the last but it is a slow process.
Not only will it allow customers to fly directly to Phoenix, the connection allows for the possibility of previously unavailable one-stop connections to destinations such as Flagstaff, Arizona; Yuma, Arizona; Long Beach, California; Monterey, California; San Luis Obispo, California; and Hermosillo, Mexico.
Metz said slow is better than nothing.
"The airport has done a lot of stuff to reinforce the infrastructure here. And, so, during that dearth of flights we took the time to make the airport something to be proud of again," Mertz said.
Tickets go on sale beginning Saturday, November 14.