GREAT FALLS — Great Falls tourism might be taking off in the next few years - the addition of more airlines and direct flights could bring in thousands of travelers.
Great Falls International Airport, Great Falls Montana Tourism, and the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to propose a low airfare initiative that will expand the number of cities and airlines the airport services.
Some of these proposed travel sites are California and Texas, two populous states that the Great Falls community has business and personal ties to.
Great Falls airport director John Faulkner says that more people traveling to Great Falls will benefit businesses and travelers within the community, as it did when the Small Community Air Service Development Grant passed a few years ago, introducing a direct flight from Great Falls to Chicago.
Faulkner says the Chicago flight brings in around 2,000 fliers to Great Falls every month during the summer, increasing the amount of people supporting businesses.
The large influx of fliers also benefits fliers by decreasing the cost of airfare.
"The last low-cost airfair initiative brought our fares down by an average of about $35 per ticket. When you think of 180,000 tickets departing Great Falls, every year, that's saved the community over the last seven years 32-million dollars," he said.
Faulkner hopes the new proposal will reap similar benefits.
If the proposal is approved, these airlines and destinations could be added by the year 2021.