Boise officials insist that connecting the City of Trees directly to a main airport hub on the U.S. East Coast isn't just a nice-to-have; it's imperative. When, for example, you're connected to Atlanta (one of Delta Airlines main hubs), Boise is only two flights away from Europe's top cities.
But incentivizing an airline such as Delta to add daily Boise-to-Atlanta flights is tricky business; beginning with the fact that a number of other U.S. cities want that same advantage.
Boise Weekly first chronicled the effort in May 2012, when we talked with just-hired Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp.
"All things being equal, [airlines] are going to go to the place where they can get that extra incentive." Hupp told BW.
And over the last couple of years, the Treasure Valley has tried different incentive programs, but on Friday, July 25, a full-court press was unveiled as Hupp was joined by local business leaders, the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Boise Valley Economic Partnership and the Idaho Department of Commerce to fight for a federal grant that could help secure a nonstop flight to Atlanta.
Specifically, local businesses have pledged nearly $250,000 in supporting funds to secure a U.S. Department of Transportation grant. Application for the federal grant is due this coming Tuesday, July 30. The grant funds would help shore up start-up costs to bring in the new service.
But when you talk about Atlanta, you're talking about Delta; and the good news is that Delta already flies in and out of Boise, with regular flights to Salt Lake City and Minneapolis/St. Paul.