Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven, Congressman Rick Berg and Governor Jack Dalrymple received word today that Great Lakes Aviation will begin service into Devils Lake this Saturday, December 17, much earlier than the previous target date of January 1, 2012.
"This is great news for Devils Lake and the surrounding communities. The expedited service from Great Lakes will help ensure that North Dakotans' holiday travel plans stay on track," the North Dakota leaders said in a joint statement.
Beginning Saturday, December 17, Great Lakes Aviation will offer two round trip flights a day to Minneapolis - St. Paul (MSP). The airline plans to increase to three round trips a day by February 1. The flights will operate as Great Lakes Aviation, still connecting to Delta Airlines.
Great Lakes Aviation is filling the void left by Delta Airlines, which suspended service into Devils Lake after the regional jets had difficulty operating at the airport under certain conditions. Delta -- which is legallyobligated to serve the community -- tried to rectify the problem by busing Devils Lake passengers to Grand Forks when flights were cancelled. However, the North Dakota leaders said that solution was unacceptable and pressed U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood and Delta to find a solution to ensure the community would be served.
"We appreciate Great Lakes coming in to honor the commitment to serve the Devils Lake community. We will continue to work with Delta and the U.S. DOT toward a long-term solution for timely and efficient air service into and out of Devils Lake," the Congressional delegation and Governor said in a joint statement.
Great Lakes Aviation is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and provides passenger service at 42 airports in eleven states.