The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Air Choice One to offer flights to Minneapolis


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Travelers will soon be able to catch flights from Ironwood to Minneapolis as Air Choice One plans on expanding service to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.


Ironwood Township - Passengers out of the Gogebic-Iron County Airport will soon have a second destination to fly to after Air Choice One has been approved to begin service to Minneapolis.

Air Choice One President and CEO Shane Storz said the service is scheduled to begin June 1.

"We've been getting passenger requests - and talking to the director and airport board, they've been hearing the same and they'd like to try it - and we're on board, they're on board," Storz told the Daily Globe Tuesday.

The company received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation Monday, according to Storz.

While information on schedules and fares will be released in the next several weeks, Storz said the plan is to have the company's mid-day flight to Chicago now go to Minneapolis 5 days a week.

This would mean the company would have two flights to Chicago and one to Minneapolis per day, except on weekends.

"That's the preliminary (plan) they want to try and then we'll go from there," he said. "And if it doesn't work out - if Minneapolis doesn't fulfill what they believe it should do, because ... they definitely don't want to lose Chicago, it's working really well - (the flights may revert to Chicago).

"But they felt, with our requests we're getting and and what they're getting, we'd give it a shot."

In addition to provide a second destination for passengers, Storz said he hoped the addition of Minneapolis will help bypass the weather delays that can impact air traffic in Chicago, keeping the company's other flights on time.

In a letter to the Department of Transportation supporting the expansion, Airport Board Chairman Jim Oliver said the airport has seen a "significant increase" in use since Air Choice One began providing service to Ironwood in July 2014.

Oliver argued the expansion would provide a better service to customers.

"(Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport) has proven to be a viable hub in the past; servicing two hubs would double the options for our passengers, allowing them to connect to virtually anywhere in the country," Oliver's letter read. "We believe the (additional) connection would have a positive effect on our passengers as well as our local businesses.

"Air Choice One has considered our community's best interest when making this proposal."

Besides Ironwood and Chicago, Air Choice One currently has service to Burlington, Iowa, Decatur, Ill., Fort Dodge, Iowa, Jackson, Tenn., Jonesboro, Ark., Mason City, Iowa, and St. Louis.


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