Will Rogers World Airport will begin offering marketing incentive money to low-fare air carriers to lure new nonstop routes to Oklahoma City.
The incentives, which the Oklahoma City Airport Trust approved Thursday, range from $50,000 for an air carrier that already has a presence at Will Rogers to establish a new daily, nonstop route to a city in a neighboring state, up to $200,000 for a carrier to add daily nonstop service to Los Angeles or the Washington, D.C., area.
An air carrier that is new to the market also would be eligible for $25,000 to offset its advertising and marketing costs, plus an additional $25,000 to $50,000 for every new nonstop daily route it adds from Oklahoma City.
Will Rogers has been offering incentives to some air carriers to offset marketing and advertising costs for some routes since 2002, but now wants to expand the program to entice more low-fare carriers that target leisure travelers.
Airport officials see the potential to attract new low-cost air carriers to Will Rogers with the incentives, said Karen Carney, spokeswoman for the airport.
“The industry is in continual change and nowadays we are seeing some different types of air carriers that have a somewhat different operating model than mainline carriers,” Carney said.
“We think there is a potential opportunity in Oklahoma City for one of these carriers, she said.”
Carney said smaller carriers such as Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Air and Vision Airlines are examples of the types of carriers that Oklahoma City would try to bring in with the marketing incentives.
Bringing in new routes to Oklahoma City is as important to luring conventions and other events to Oklahoma City, said Cynthia Reid, vice president of marketing and communications for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
Without the availability of air service, Oklahoma City can find itself out of the running for many events.
“Every route makes a difference,” Reid said.
The Oklahoma City Airport Trust partners with the chamber to help bring in new air carriers with the help of the incentives.
The incentives can help an air carrier choose to add routes to Oklahoma City over another city, Reid said.
“The incentives can be a deal maker if an air carrier is looking at two different cities — it gives us an extra push,” she said.
The incentives can be a deal maker if an air carrier is looking at two different cities — it gives us an extra push.”
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber