Two of America’s most lavish towns are now connected through a 29-mile American Airlines route.
From May 21 until at least June 1, you can fly between Aspen, Colorado, and Vail, Colorado. American Airlines launched the 35-minute service as part of a circle route that connects Aspen, Vail, and Montrose, Colorado, with America’s Dallas-Fort Worth hub, as The Points Guy first reported from Cirium schedule data.
Those who are flying on the route don’t need to disembark in Vail or Aspen, The Points Guy reported.
It’s currently the shortest commercial plane ride you can take in the US, beating a 31-mile Alaska Airlines loop, and it happens to connect two of the country’s most famously wealthy resort towns. Vail’s median home value is $1 million, while Aspen’s median home value is $1.9 million, according to Zillow.
Aspen is one of the four ski destinations on Earth where properties consistently sell more than $25 million, as Business Insider’s Lina Batarags reported. The Bezos and Dell families both own homes on Aspen’s so-called “Billionaire Mountain.”
The reason these two ultra-wealthy enclaves are now connected stems back to the CARES Act, the $2 trillion stimulus package signed into law in late March.
Airlines may only suspend service to up to 11 cities that they served pre-coronavirus in order to receive much-needed aid through the CARES Act. But passenger travel has collapsed by 93%, so flying these so-called “ghost planes” on a lengthy route would not be profitable.
As a result, airlines are adding cities onto other routes. The Vail-Aspen plane journey, part of a larger circle connecting Texas and Colorado, is an example of that.
Colorado’s mountainous landscape actually means the drive between Vail and Aspen is a little longer than the 29-mile flight route would suggest. American’s five-day-a-week flight takes 35 minutes, but driving between the two towns takes nearly two hours.
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