United Express to serve regional airport
16 Dec 2020
Passenger jets will return to Fort Dodge Regional Airport next year.
United Express will begin flying 50-seat jets from Fort Dodge to Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Illinois starting March 1, Rhonda Chambers, the airport’s director of aviation, announced Tuesday.
A roughly $3 million annual subsidy from the federal Essential Air Service program will make the service possible.
The last time jets served the local airport was in late 2011 and early 2012, during the last months of Delta Air Lines’ presence in the community. That was also the last time that Fort Dodge passengers could make seamless connections to other flights at a larger airport.
“It’s exciting,” Chambers said.
She said that at Chicago O’Hare, Fort Dodge passengers will be able to seamlessly transfer to United Airlines flights to the rest of the country and the world without rechecking their bags.
The jet service will be valuable to local businesses as well as leisure travelers, she added.
“They have connections worldwide,” she said. “With this service, you can obviously get there from here.”
United Express will replace Air Choice One, which has served Fort Dodge since 2015.
Air Choice One serves Fort Dodge with the assistance of an Essential Air Service subsidy.
That airline’s contract with the U.S. Department of Transportation ends Feb. 28, 2021. In anticipation of that, the department solicited proposals from airlines interested in serving Fort Dodge. Four proposals were received. In October, the Fort Dodge Regional Airport Commission endorsed the proposal from United Express.
The department recently awarded the contract to United Express, which is operated by SkyWest Airlines Inc.Full article.