Craving a summer getaway to a ski town? Taos Air will fly you there from Carlsbad

Taos Air launches summer service from Carlsbad's McClellan-Palomar airport.
Taos Air, which previously offered just winter flights to the New Mexico ski resort area, is now launching summer service from Carlsbad’s McClellan-Palomar airport.
(Courtesy of Taos Air)

Starting July 1, the airline will offer nonstop flights to Taos twice a week


Taos Air, which had its new winter service between Carlsbad and New Mexico cut short last year by the pandemic, will soon be flying this summer to the resort area from McClellan-Palomar Airport.

Starting July 1, the airline will offer nonstop flights to Taos twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, with one-way fares as low as $180. The Thursday flights, which are about two hours long, will depart at 7:25 a.m. and return at 6:05 p.m. Sunday departures will be at 11:20 a.m., with return flights touching down at 10 p.m.

On average, one-way flights will range from $220 to $245, the airline says. Summer service will run through Sept. 27.

Last year, the airline debuted its winter air service, which was supposed to run through April. But those plans were interrupted in mid-March when COVID-19 brought all travel to an abrupt halt.

Joe Zvada, director of aviation for Taos Air, said that the easing of the pandemic and the public’s desire for outdoor getaways figured into the launching of summer service. Taos has also announced nonstop service to New Mexico from Austin, Dallas and Los Angeles.

“It’s very clear, based on passenger demand and how other airlines are adding flights to mountain communities, the expectation is there will be a heavy emphasis on places that are outdoor-focused,” he said. “We had initially considered a partial schedule with limited frequency but indications of the outdoor recreational demand played into our current schedule.”

Taos Air, which began flying in 2018, was created by the Taos Ski Valley resort as a way to boost business not only at the resort but in the surrounding community and New Mexico, Zvada said.

“The trend we’re seeing in the airline industry is more visitation to a mountain town in the summer season vs. the winter season, he added. “We obviously want people to come to the resort but we also want people to come to the region of northern New Mexico. We expect the same popularity, if not more, in the summer because of those airline trends.”

Flights on Taos Air’s 30-seat aircraft include complimentary ground transportation between the airport and The Blake at Taos Ski Valley, a hotel in the village area. There is also no charge for baggage.

Taos Air expects to restart winter service in December. Booking for those flights should open up by early to mid-summer. The airline describes its air service as similar to a charter flight experience but at a price more in keeping with commercial airline tickets.