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American Airlines will begin daily nonstop service between Roswell and Phoenix March 3, 2016.

The service, when paired with connecting flights accessible in Phoenix, will greatly expand the business and leisure travel destination options for travelers from Southeast New Mexico heading to locales in the western United States.

The southeast region of New Mexico currently does not have a nonstop flight to the western portion of the United States.

While the new nonstop service will give passengers a direct flight between the area and Arizona, it will also increase connectivity to western destinations in the United States, as well as Mexico and Canada.

“As mayor, I am tremendously excited that we will soon have daily air service to Phoenix. This will spur further economic development, not just in Roswell, but in all of southeastern New Mexico,” said Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh.

The new air service will connect passengers from Southeast New Mexico to numerous areas not currently being served by American’s three daily nonstop flights between Roswell and Dallas-Fort Worth. The popularity of the DFW flights gave American the reason to now establish service to the west from Roswell.

Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch is also excited about the options the new service opens up for local citizens as well as businesses.

“A lot of people have worked very, very hard to get this service added to the American Airlines system,” Burch told the Daily Press this morning. “The flights to Dallas have been very successful. The community, including the business community and the FLETC, have really enjoyed that service and will enjoy the service to Phoenix just as much.

“It gives us the opportunity to get to the western side of the United States quickly versus going to Roswell, then to Dallas, then to the west coast, so we’re very pleased they are adding this service. We look forward to it, and we hope that it will grow in the future.”

“The success American has seen with its flights to Dallas-Fort Worth was instrumental in the decision to expand its Roswell operations,” said Kintigh. “It is encouraging that American recognizes the economic vitality of our region and for the airline to continue to invest in our growth.

“This has been a long time coming and the credit belongs to two prominent citizens of our community, Mr. Bill Armstrong and Mr. Jon Hitchcock, for their selfless work on this project. All the people of southeastern New Mexico owe these men their gratitude.”

The new daily flight to Phoenix will enable passengers to connect to flights heading to places such as Yuma and Flagstaff in Arizona, Anchorage, Alaska, seven cities in California, and even international destinations such as Hermosillo, Mexico, and Edmonton, Canada.

“Air service to Phoenix is a great deal for southeastern New Mexico and Chaves County. This could be a big shot in the arm for economic development,” said Chaves County Commissioner James Duffey.

Creating air service from Roswell to Phoenix has been in the works for three years and has been a joint effort between the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corporation, the cities of Roswell, Artesia and Carlsbad, the Village of Ruidoso, Chaves and Eddy counties, private citizens, and strong support from Rep. Steve Pearce, Senator Tom Udall and Senator Martin Heinrich.

“Extending air service has been a key focus of our entire team, and we look forward to welcoming the Phoenix flight,” said Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corporation Director John Mulcahy.

The new flight will depart Phoenix Monday through Sunday at 3:10 p.m., arriving in Roswell at 5:45 p.m. The return flight will depart Roswell International Air Center Monday through Sunday at 6:15 p.m., arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at 7:05 p.m. All times are local. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

American will operate a Bombardier CRJ-200 on the flight, with seating for 50 passengers. Travelers can reserve their tickets for the new route starting Saturday, Nov. 14.

“In addition to our wealth of cultural and physical attractions in southeast New Mexico, such as skiing in Ruidoso, exploring Carlsbad Caverns, reliving history through the Billy the Kid Trail and searching for aliens in Roswell, this region is home to a thriving business environment that requires a dedicated flight to the western United States,” said Mulcahy. “We expect southeastern New Mexico and the western United States to fully embrace both the tourism and economic development opportunities this flight will bring to our region.”