BRANSON, Mo. -- Saturday kicked off flying season at Branson Airport. The airport and Frontier Airlines announced new nonstop flights and prepared for a busy year by hiring more full-time employees.
Airline passengers were back, eager to fly out of Branson Saturday.
"It's so easy. We literally walked in and I felt silly walking through the ropes because there was nobody else here. It was awesome, Stephanie Caley told KY3.
The first flight arriving nonstop from Denver came in around 6:40 p.m.
The first departure, left out just before 8 p.m.
"We said hey ,this is really cheap and we can get mom to take us to the airport, Caley said. Okay, I guess we're going. We're going to Denver next week."
Branson Airport's Ty Lewis says Frontier Airlines is responding to the growing Branson market and doing so with added flights and seats.
"Passengers will see a 360% increase over the prior year. So Frontier is growing seats into this market and we're really please that they're bringing the low, low fares," Lewis explained.
Passengers will be flying on younger, roomier planes.
"So you'll be flying into and out of Branson in a 186 seat aircraft. Very comfortable and very efficient," Lewis exclaimed.
Starting May 1st, Frontier will offer nonstop flights to Chicago and Dallas.
The new flights mean more people flying in and out - something the airport took 6 months to prepare for.
"We hired about 15 new hires. That's between ticket agents, cooks, ramp agents, firefighters," Jesse Fosnaugh added.
The expanded flight service is expected to have an estimated economic impact of $25 million.
With larger crowds expected, flyers are asked to plan ahead.
"We recommend coming at least two hours before your departure,"