Air Service Returns to Cheyenne, This Time to and from Denver

Nov. 12, 2020

Nov. 11—CHEYENNE — Today marks the first commercial flight at Cheyenne Regional Airport since the service to Dallas was pulled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, Cheyenne Regional Air Focus Team Director Wendy Volk and airport staff have worked to secure a new contract and minimum revenue guarantee for the airline to mitigate the financial risk of starting a new service.

The agreement with United Express will run until May 31, at which point Cheyenne Regional Airport will undergo major runway renovations and will be unable to support commercial flights.

For now, one flight each day will depart from Cheyenne to Denver at 7 a.m. and head back from Denver at 8 p.m., with the flight crew spending the night in Cheyenne.

A second flight is expected to be added in February for springtime travel.

"You could feasibly leave Cheyenne at seven o'clock in the morning; get to Denver by eight o'clock in the morning; connect and get to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles to conduct business; catch a flight out of Phoenix at say five o'clock in the afternoon; get into Denver, and be home to Cheyenne by nine o'clock at night," Volk told the City Council when they approved the city's portion of the minimum revenue guarantee.

When the city first secured a deal with SkyWest Airlines for air service to Dallas, the plane left Dallas at around 11:30 a.m. and left Cheyenne close to 1:30 p.m. About half the people who utilized that service didn't connect to a different flight in Dallas. Right before air service at Cheyenne Regional was canceled in March, SkyWest planned to switch the flight times to early mornings and late nights in hopes of increasing connectivity.

Going forward, the hope is that this connecting flight to Denver will do just that. It'll be the same 50-seat CRJ 200 aircraft that previously flew from Cheyenne to Dallas.

As for costs, the minimum revenue guarantee for the five-month contract sits at $879,252, which will be paid to the airline by the air focus team. Both the city of Cheyenne and Laramie County will contribute $148,000, the Wyoming Department of Transportation will contribute $527,000, the Cheyenne-Laramie County Economic Development Joint Powers Board will contribute $50,000, and Cheyenne LEADS will contribute $5,000.


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