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Area residents need to take advantage of new Denver flights

Airline is adding new service in Fort Dodge

Fort Dodge area residents planning to travel to the western United States for business or fun will soon have a new flight option close to home.

United Express, operated by SkyWest Airlines Inc., will begin offering flights from Fort Dodge Regional Airport to Denver beginning on Oct. 6.

The plan calls for one arrival from Denver and one departure for the Mile High City in the afternoons. Exact schedules will be posted on the airline’s website.

United Express is new to Fort Dodge. It began serving the city in March with flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Those flights are made on 50-passenger jets, and are the first regular jet flights to the community since about 2012, during the last months of Delta Air Lines’ tenure in the community.

It has been operating in Fort Dodge for less than a year, and already the airline has found a new and additional way to serve its customers. For a long time, Rhonda Chambers, the airport’s director of aviation, has heard requests for service to the western United States. Soon, Fort Dodge will finally have that service.

Because the airline serves Fort Dodge with the support of a roughly $3 million subsidy from the federal Essential Air Service program, local support was needed for the change, which does reduce the number of flights between Fort Dodge and Chicago. The change was enthusiastically endorsed by Mayor Matt Bemrich and the Airport Commission.

We thank the airline and local officials for making these Denver flights possible.

We strongly urge anyone planning travel to the western part of the country to take advantage of these flights. If we as a community want to keep them, we’ve got to use them.

There are some really nice advantages to using Fort Dodge Regional Airport as the starting point for a trip. Free parking and short commutes to and from the airport are among them.

So the next time you’re planning a trip, whether it’s to the western United States or anywhere else in the world, head to your local airport.

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