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Fly Hays elevates campaign, new carrier

7/4/2014

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

Fly Hays is set to soar on the wings of a new carrier.

The brand campaign promoting Hays Regional Airport will relaunch in the last two weeks of July to publicize the new air service starting Aug. 1, said Jana Jordan, director for the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau. The television and radio ads will run six weeks, and print ads also are expected.

One commercial touts the new carrier with visuals of the inside and outside of the jet.

"Everything in our lives is constantly improving, and the standards are always being raised. That includes the air service at Hays Regional Airport," a narrator states in the commercial. "This summer, daily United Express jet service will connect Hays travelers to Denver and beyond."

Jordan hopes the commercials convey the upgraded experience SkyWest offers travelers.

"Hopefully they will understand that this is a 50-passenger flight that has a flight attendant on it, and that it has restrooms on it, and that it will be very professional," she said.

The ads suggest the airport has started a new chapter. Great Lakes Airlines, the former carrier, frustrated some travelers with flight cancellations and delays.

"We're hoping that the ad campaign will show people that people were No. 1, very disappointed in the service, you know, they had such a high cancellation," she said. "I think they only had about 40 percent of their flights that actually went out, and then the fact it was a very small plane, didn't have a restroom. I think all those things were kind of playing against it."

I.D. Creech, Hays director of public works, said city staff oversees the airport until a manager position is filled.

The ad campaign seeks to appeal to travelers within the airport's 100-mile radius catchment area, he said. Reaching 10,000 annual boarding passengers makes the airport eligible for $1 million in funds from the federal government.

Marissa Snow, director of corporate communications for SkyWest, said there will be approximately 10 positions available at the airport. Interested applicants can find more information at www.skywest.com/careers.