United Airlines confirms that it is canceling direct service between Lafayette and Denver after Oct. 23 but will increase the number of seats available between Lafayette and Houston (where there are 12 connecting flights a day to Denver). Some flights between Lafayette and Houston will use planes with larger passenger capacity.
“With the tremendous support shown from businesses and families who flew out of Lafayette Regional Airport, we are disappointed with United’s decision to cancel the direct service between Lafayette and Denver,” Lafayette Regional Airport Executive Director Steven Picou said in a prepared release. “The load factors of passengers from Acadiana have been strong, and we could have just as easily seen an announcement of increased flights as one that says the flights are ending in October.”
United started the direct flights to Denver in August of last year.
Picou said the airport has no control over United’s decision-making process. “The dynamics of the airline business and United’s decisions based on their costs of operating the direct Denver flight, versus having people who board in Lafayette go through Houston, are unfortunately out of our control,” the director said.
Lafayette Regional also announced that beginning Aug. 17, an additional 109 short-term parking spaces will be available. The new spaces will result from a relocation of rental cars to a new parking lot on John Glenn Drive, located off of Shepard Drive next to the airport.
The airport currently has parking spots in three adjacent lots: short-term, long-term and the $5 per-day credit card economy parking. With the conversion of rental vehicle spaces to short-term parking, the number of spaces will total 888.
Rental car companies will also gain an estimated 30 additional parking spots in the new created rental lot location.
“Lafayette Regional Airport is continuing to set new passenger records,” said Picou. “The addition of the new rental car lot and expansion of short-term parking helps Acadiana passengers who utilize airport parking and also rental car companies who serve customers who fly into Lafayette.”
The airport is planning a $90 million expansion, which includes additional parking and a new terminal, much of which will be funded by a temporary sales tax voters approved Dec. 6 to start in April and expire Nov. 30.