New Airline To Fly In And Out Of Tyler

Destination Dallas. That's been your only way to fly into Houston from East Texas since the fall of 2001. Often a hassle for business travellers like Bob Messinger.

"I have one of my major accounts in Houston that from Tyler I go to Dallas, Dallas to Houston, Houston back," says Bob Messinger.

But starting August 15th, that inconvenience will be no more. Mayor Joey Seeber announced Tuesday Sky West will now provide daily service to Houston under the Continental Connection name.

"It will bring competition back and I think it will make both American Eagle and Continental better carriers for the consumer," says Mayor Seeber.

You might remember shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks Continental Express pulled out of Tyler, but now Continental Connection is back with three flights daily leaving from right here and three flights coming in.

"I have family in Houston. It will make my flying time cut to about 45 minutes from Tyler to Houston," says Thethis Hitt, a Houston traveller.

"I am just going to get on one plane, go to Houston and turn around and shoot back," says Messinger. "It is going to save a lot of time."

And bring more people with money to spend into Tyler's airport.

"There will be more sales in restaurants, more customer activity at the terminal," says Tom Mullins Director of the Tyler Economic Development Council.

Tom Mullins also says Continental's presence could even help attract more businesses to the Rose City down the line. Airport manager Davis Dickson says they are also in continuing talks with some airlines to bring even more destinations and options to East Texas.

Dana Dixon, reporting