With great fanfare a new era of air service took off in Salina on Monday.
As a crowd looked on and cheered, United Airlines flight #5023 arrived at the Salina Regional Airport. Operated by SkyWest Airlines, the flight from the Chicago International Airport landed in Salina, en route to Denver.
SkyWest, which is providing service as United Express, has two daily flights out of Salina to Denver. Those flights will make a stop in Hays. There is also one daily non-stop flight to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
United Airlines spokesperson Andrew Bell told KSAL News the new flights provide seamless ticketing, connectivity and baggage transfer on United Airlines. He said the new service is targeting all travelers, business and pleasure.
United Express will uses 50-seat jet aircraft, replacing the current 30 seat turbo prop airplanes in the Great Lakes Airlines fleet that was servicing Salina.
The inaugural flight was met by local dignitaries and passengers bound for the Denver International Airport. The Bombardier CRJ-200 was honored with a traditional water cannon salute.
Salina has been without commercial air service for a little over a week. Commercial flights in and out of Salina had been temporarily halted. Great Lakes Airlines, the air carrier which was serving Salina, suspended flights. Great Lakes was forced to cease flight operations by its creditors. At the time, SkyWest was already set to take over air service.
The first United Airlines SkyWest Airlines jet arrives in Salina.
Posted by Newsradio 1150 KSAL on Monday, April 9, 2018
Water cannon salute for United’s inaugural flight
Posted by City of Salina on Monday, April 9, 2018