Though it’s been nearly two decades since Las Cruces—New Mexico’s second-largest city—has had commercial air service, that drought will end on January 16 when aircraft charter/management provider and regional airline Advanced Air begins scheduled service between Las Cruces International Airport (KLRU) and Albuquerque International Sunport (LABQ) using a nine-passenger Beechcraft King Air 350.
Under a two-year contract supported through a New Mexico Rural Air Service Enhancement (RASE) grant, Advanced, which is based out of Los Angeles-area Hawthorne Municipal Airport, will operate seven flights a week linking the two airports. Fixed pricing for the 54-minute flight will start at $85 each way, including complimentary beverages and snacks, with bulk packs of 10 trips available at an overall 20 percent discount. Drive time between the cities is more than three hours.
“Passenger air service returning to Las Cruces has been a long time in the making,” said Las Cruces Airport administrator Andy Hume. “We’re excited about having a new travel option for business, tourism, and health care.”
In addition to KLRU and KABQ, Advanced also services two other airports in New Mexico: Grant County Airport in Silver City and Gallup Municipal Airport. Last summer, the latter airfield became the first recipient of the RASE program, which was established with the goal to provide smaller communities with regular air service to large or medium-hub airports.