SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Siouxland travelers will soon have a new option when making plans to visit the west coast.
SkyWest Airlines will begin offering direct flights from Sioux Gateway Airport to Denver.
“Kinda the missing piece of the puzzle has been going to the west,” said Barbara Sloniker with the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.
The agreement between Sioux Gateway Airport and SkyWest Airlines would bring the service back for the first time since 2015.
“We never like to see services come in and leave again, but I think it really helped us prove to United Airlines and our partners Skywest that there was a market in it and people would travel,” said Sloniker.
The airline service provides travelers a local option for flights instead of looking to fly out of Omaha or Sioux Falls.
“It will be great for not only the pleasure travelers but also our business travelers as well, so it will strengthen our business community as well,” said Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott.
The airline agreement gained momentum from a 2018 Department of Transportation grant worth $600,000.
“We sold that to airlines at the same time so they were able to pick up half of the cost that SkyWest has to invest to start this route,” said Mike Collett, the Airport Director.
The daily non-stop service to Denver will begin on October 14th and Siouxlanders said they are eager to take off.
“Colorado is really beautiful, it has mountains, just beautiful scenery,” said Charlotte Behning a Sioux City Resident.
“You could be by Colorado Springs, and the next time you could be in a little mining town learning a little history about everything,” said Spencer Payne, a Sioux City resident.
SkyWest is starting service with a round trip ticket price of roughly $179 to Denver and back.
“I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity and I hope to go there myself,” said Behning.
Although COVID-19 has impacted the travel industry in recent months, airport managers say they hope the addition of the flight with help spark momentum.
“People are getting more used to the additional restrictions on travel, but just traveling safely and I think people are slowly starting to migrate back into airline travel,” said Collett.
Airlines are still requiring travelers to wear a mask in the airport and onboard. Chicago recently took Iowa off their list of travel restrictions which did require visitors to quarantine upon arrival.