BROOMFIELD - Vail Resorts Inc. has teamed with Air Canada to offer nonstop Saturday service beginning this winter between Toronto and the Eagle-Vail airport.

May Lilley, a spokesman for Broomfield-based Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN), said resort officials worked with the Canadian airline to "make our case" for the service, but the final decision was Air Canada's and no financial transaction was involved other than creating a marketing partnership.

The flights represent the first nonstop international carrier and service to the airport in Eagle County.

Weekly flights have been scheduled from Dec. 14 through April 5 using a 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft, which can offer a choice of executive or economy service and feature complimentary seatback entertainment throughout the plane. Since no customs and immigration facilities are available at the Eagle-Vail airport, passengers will clear customs both directions at Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Flight times were geared to conform with hotel check-in and check-out times and allow passengers to have time on the slopes of Vail or Beaver Creek if they wish on both their days of arrival and departure. The inbound flight will leave Toronto at 9:50 a.m. Eastern time, arriving at Eagle Airport at 11:45 a.m. Mountain time. Outbound flights will leave Eagle at 12:30 p.m. and arrive in Toronto at 5:43 p.m. Eastern time.

"Consistent growth from the Canadian market over the last few years is a clear indication that Canadians recognize the value of Vail Resorts' industry-leading Epic Pass and the world class experience that comes with a visit to Vail and Beaver Creek," said Davy Ratchford, director of sales and marketing for Vail Mountain, in a press statement. "Our partnership with Air Canada and the new nonstop service between Toronto and the Vail Valley will make the experience of traveling to and skiing and snowboarding at Vail and Beaver Creek that much more seamless and enjoyable."

Vail Resorts in March announced a capital-improvement plan, which is adding new high-speed and higher-capacity lifts at Vail Mountain and a new 17,000-square-foot European-inspired on-mountain restaurant named Talons at Beaver Creek.

Epic Pass holders have unlimited access to Vail Resorts' eight U.S. resorts including Eldora in Boulder County as well as Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe region of Nevada and California; Mount Brighton in Michigan; and Afton Alps in Minnesota, as well as free days at resorts in Verbier, Switzerland, and Arlberg, Austria.