Denver International Airport adds new nonstop destination — the longest direct flight from DIA

A new nonstop Turkish Airlines flight from Denver International Airport will carry travelers 6,152 miles between Denver and Istanbul — the longest flight from DIA.

The recruitment of Turkish Airlines brings the number of airlines at DIA to 26. Flight searches on Google on Thursday morning showed round-trip flights available starting June 11 for around $1,329 roundtrip.

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston and DIA chief executive Phil Washington planned to announce the flight Thursday morning. The new service is expected to bring a $54 million annual economic impact in Colorado and support the creation of about 350 new jobs around the state. The flight will take about 13 hours, longer than the 12-hour direct flight between Denver and Tokyo.

DIA officials in recent years have prioritized “expanding our global connections” as part of their strategic plan for serving 100 million passengers a year by 2027 and more than 120 million by 2045, the airport’s 50th anniversary. A primary goal is to “expand the air networks to the continent of Africa and other disconnected destinations.”

A 21-person delegation of airport, city government, and business officials from Denver visited Ethiopia in February 2023 on a trade mission to build relationships. They offered economic incentives as part of their efforts to persuade Ethiopian Airlines and, eventually, Egypt Air to commit to starting service to Denver with several flights a week. Another delegation visited Turkey in October 2022 to explore possibilities for starting a Turkish Airlines flight between Denver and Istanbul.

The new flight announced Thursday “does not diminish in any way our desire” to line up a flight to other cities, said Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce president J.J. Ament, who joined both delegations.

“A flight to Istanbul opens up India, and it also opens up Africa for us,” Ament said.

“The imperative is that we continue to increase Denver’s global reach and the reach of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West with DIA as the gateway airport,” he said. “Being able to reach new parts of the world, growing parts of the world, is what is going to keep Colorado globally relevant.”

DIA is the largest airport in the United States by size, covering 53 square miles of land. It also ranks among the busiest airports in the world. A record 77 million passengers went through DIA in 2023, up from 69 million in 2019.

The airport offers flights to 217 destinations, predominantly domestic. But international air travel, including air cargo operations, has grown steadily and in 2023 brought more than 4 million travelers, up 21% since 2022.

Earlier this year, airport officials announced new nonstop flights from DIA on Aer Lingus to Dublin, Ireland, starting on May 17. Other cities that DIA travelers can reach nonstop include London, Paris, Zurich, Reykjavik, Iceland, Munich, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and a dozen cities in Mexico and Central America.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Business


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