Great Lakes Airlines will expand its service to Fort Dodge Regional Airport by adding another daily round trip to Minneapolis- St. Paul International Airport starting in August, the carrier announced Thursday.
''We're gaining an extra flight every day,'' said Rhonda Chambers, the airport's director of aviation.
Now, the airline provides three round trips on weekdays. It also provides two round trips on Saturdays and Sundays.
Effective Aug. 1, there will be four round trips on weekdays, according to an announcement from Great Lakes.
There will also be three round trips on Saturdays and Sundays, the airline reported.
''We know that there are passengers that want to use the service,'' said Monica Taylor-Lee, the airline's director of public relations.
The Fort Dodge Regional Airport reopened today, as planned, while a runway project continues.
The reconstruction of one runway had prompted the airport's closure on July 6.
It reopened at 7 a.m. today. A 10:15 a.m. departure of a Great Lakes Airlines flight was to be the first commercial flight of the day.
The runway project will be finished by Labor Day, according to Rhonda Chambers, the airport's director of aviation.
''This was just an opportunity that we saw that possibly could increase the use and bring people back to the airport,'' she added.
Taylor-Lee said airline passengers are attracted by reasonable fares and frequent flights.
''We already have a decent price in there,'' she said.
Adding flights, she said, was the next logical step toward attracting more passengers.
Great Lakes began serving Fort Dodge in April after replacing Delta Air Lines.
The expanded schedule includes the return of a very early morning departure on weekdays.
Two of the new flights will include a stop at Mason City. Stops at Mason City occurred on all flights when Northwest Airlines served the city and continued when Delta took over. However, last year those stops were eliminated and Fort Dodge flights went directly to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota.
One of the new flights will leave Fort Dodge at 5 a.m. on weekdays. Taylor-Lee said that flight will stop in Mason City.
The other new flight that will stop in Mason City will depart from Minneapolis-St. Paul at 8:30 p.m. on Sundays through Fridays and land in Fort Dodge at 9:47 p.m.