|Second airline aims to fly out of St. Cloud airport
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A second airline could begin serving St. Cloud Regional Airport next year with daily flights to Chicago, airport officials said Tuesday.
The startup airline, which would be based in Grand Rapids, would cater to business travelers with four daily flights to and from Midway International Airport in Chicago on 30-seat Dornier 328 jets, said airport director Bill Towle.
Currently, the St. Cloud airport has six flights a day to and from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport via Mesaba Airlines/Northwest Airlink.
"Bringing competition in is going to benefit all of us, if people use both airlines,'' Towle said. "Usually, the incumbent offers added incentives to retain their business, even if they're not flying to the same location.''
Service would begin in May 2006, assuming the Grand Rapids investment group putting the airline together takes delivery of its airplanes and concludes the necessary lease agreements to fly out of St. Cloud, Towle said.
The startup airline doesn't yet have a name.
Chris Van Den Heuvel, the prospective airline's head of operations, said a lot of work needs to be done. "We're still getting started,'' the Grand Rapids resident said. "I can't really say much more than that at this point.''