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Preparing for takeoff

United Express flights will link Fort Dodge, Denver

-Messenger file photo
United Express operated by SkyWest flights are now taking off at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport. The first flights arrived and departed on March 1, 2021. Service to Denver will be added on Oct. 6.

Fort Dodge Regional Airport will have flights to Denver beginning Oct. 6, airport and airline officials announced Tuesday.

United Express, operated by SkyWest Airlines Inc., will provide one mid-day flight between Fort Dodge and Denver International Airport.

The airline will also continue to provide flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

However, the Denver flights will replace a Chicago flight so there will be fewer trips to the Windy City.

Rhonda Chambers, the director of aviation at Fort Dodge Regional Airport, said there has been a demand for flights to the western United States for awhile.

-Messenger file photo
The first United Express operated by SkyWest flight arrived at Fort Dodge Regional Airport on March 1, 2021.

”We’ve heard that for a long time,” she said.

”Providing direct air service to the west is a first for the Fort Dodge Regional Airport and a goal of the Airport Commission to meet the needs of those businesses and leisure travelers who frequently fly west,” Chambers said.

United Express began serving Fort Dodge in March with flights to Chicago. The airline uses 50 passenger Bombardier CJR-200 jets for those flights. The same kind of jets will be used for the Denver flights.

”The change will provide Fort Dodge travelers with improved connectivity and more options as they are planning for upcoming trips,” Greg Atkin, SkyWest Airlines’ managing director of market development, said in a written statement.

”All flights will also continue to provide seamless connections to the world through United’s global network and passengers can fly with confidence thanks to the layered approach to health and safety,” he added.

Because SkyWest Airlines serves Fort Dodge with the aid of a roughly $3 million federal Essential Air Service grant, the support of the local community was needed to make the change. Mayor Matt Bemrich and Deb Johnson, chairwoman of the Airport Commission, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation endorsing the change.

”This exciting change in service to include a flight to Denver, Colorado, was supported by the Airport Commission along with the air service review committee,” Chambers said.

While the Denver flights are planned for mid-day arrivals and departures, Chambers said travelers should check united.com for exact times.

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