Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa International Airport Plans Marketing Campaign for San Antonio Flights

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa International Airport Plans Marketing Campaign for San Antonio Flights

Article excerpt

Very soon, Tulsans could start hearing and seeing a lot more about the nonstop flights set to begin next month between Tulsa and San Antonio.

Officials at Tulsa International Airport said Thursday that they're buying banners, taking out radio and magazine ads, advertising on billboards around the region, and planning special receptions at the gates on inauguration week to drum up interest in the new United Airlines service.

The airport authority wants to show United, and other major airlines, that they can make a profit in Tulsa on nonstop routes and that local officials are willing to help, said marketing director Mary Smith.

If this service is successful, which (United) seems to think it will be, they're looking at Tulsa as getting service to other cities that normally you wouldn't see United fly nonstop to from Tulsa, Smith said.

I think, in the long run, this is going to be a new way of doing business with United here.

Beginning March 3, United will provide two flights a day between Tulsa and San Antonio on 50-seat regional jets. There will be two flights a day Monday through Friday, and one flight on Sunday evening. There are no flights planned on Saturday, which is traditionally a slow travel day.

Airline passengers in Oklahoma wishing to go to San Antonio have been forced to grab connecting flights with a hub served by Southwest, American, Continental or United.

United officials have said the Tulsa-San Antonio route is primarily served by American, Continental and Southwest, but United wants a piece of the action.

San Antonio is a city teeming with new business and leisure destinations. About 60 percent of Tulsa International's passengers are business-oriented, and 40 percent seeking leisure destinations. Smith expects that ratio to hold true for the new service.

I think of San Antonio as fun, but it's amazing the kind of business we do between Tulsa and San Antonio, Smith said.

There hasn't been nonstop service between Tulsa and San Antonio for 15 or 20 years, and Smith said the marketing campaign is needed to get people's attention. …

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