Two more round-trip flights will follow at 11 a.m. to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis and at 5:30 p.m. to Houston, said Lenny Llerena, the airport’s executive director. The new airline has a partnership with United Airlines, so passengers can book flights from Victoria to most destinations in the world and won’t have to transfer their luggage between connecting flights but can pick it up at their final destination.
The airline has a two-year contract to serve the airport that started Nov. 1. The airport’s contract with its previous airline, Texas Sky, ended Oct. 31.
“Reliability is going to be increased with newer aircraft. With that, it brings back the trust of the passengers. We now have two destinations, so we are able to accommodate different kinds of travel ... This way, the number of riders will increase,” Llerena said. “You can book a flight anywhere in the world you want to go now (from Victoria).”
Boutique Air will offer 21 round-trip flights a week in Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft, which seat nine passengers. The flights from Victoria will land at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas.
“It has a double club executive seating configuration for nine total seats,” said Brian Murphy, Boutique Air chief operating officer. “It’s much like what you would find on a mid-sized kind of corporate jet. Pretty luxurious.”
Boutique Air is hiring about 30 employees across customer service, maintenance and pilots to work for their Victoria service, Murphy said.
He said he is seeing solid demand for flights, especially on Victoria to Dallas flights, with capacity averaging in the 70-80 percent range for the first week of service.
Murphy said the airline thrives in situations where an airport and its community have been underserved by a carrier.
“We’re looking forward to coming in there and getting the traffic going again,” he said.
Llerena said the Crossroads community should stand behind Boutique Air and use the service because the more riders who book flights, the more the airport and service can grow.
Anyone with questions regarding booking and the airline should contact Boutique Air and not the airport, he said.