Chippewa Valley Airport lures second airline
Officials with the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport late last week announced that they have agreed to a one-year contract with Billings,MT-based Big Sky Airlines to initiate a daily round-trip flight to Chicago's Midway Airport, effective Mar. 17, 2007. Currently, Mesaba Airlines is the only other air carrier to serve the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport.
"We are extremely pleased to be serving Eau Claire. There is no doubt in our mind that service to and from Chicago's convenient Midway Airport is needed here and we look forward to serving the business and leisure customers with our service," said Big Sky Airlines President Fred de leeuw.
Big Sky Airlines, which was established 29 years ago, operates passenger services to 20 cities in Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Illinios, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. The airline utilizes a fleet of Beechcraft 1900D turbo-prop aircraft that seats 19 passengers with a cruising speed of 327 miles per hour.
"The addition of Big Sky Airlines to the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport not only fills our need for eastbound service, but their unique airfare program brings more competition and a less expensive alternative to get to Chicago," said Chippewa Valley Regional Airport Director Charity Speich.
Big Sky Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MAIR Holdings Inc., which is presently the parent company of Mesaba Airlines until Northwest Airlines completes its acquisition of Mesaba later this year. Big Sky, which was acquired by MAIR Holdings in 2002, was considered to be the company's growth vehicle. However, the small regional airline has yet to make money.
Big Sky Airlines is offering an introductory EASYFARE of $89, which is available for purchase through the first day of service. The introductory fare is available for travel up to one year after purchase. Fares and rules are subject to change without notice. Taxes and fees are not included. For more information, visit the web site: www.BigSkyAir.com. TBL