Flight routes change at the Delta County Airport

One flight is taken away, another will become nonstop again.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 3:33 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - Escanaba might be a small town, but the Delta County Airport stays busy. Soon, travelers will see new flight routes.

“There were some major decisions that came down the pipeline from the airline and they’ve significantly impacted travel here. Unfortunately, not for the better,” said Andrea Nummilien, the airport manager at the Delta County Airport.

Travelers are already seeing later flight times.

“A lot of business travelers really enjoyed our early morning departure and now we have an early afternoon departure. That’s not ideal for our business travelers,” Nummilien said.

SkyWest operates all Delta flights in and out of the airport – all carrying 50 passengers.

It flies once a day to Detroit, but just last month, the airline added a stop during that flight in Pellston. This extra leg for passengers ends Thursday. It will then fly twice a day to Detroit.

“After that, we will go back to nonstop service, which is a win for our airport,” Nummilien said.

In 2021, the airport added a new flight to Minneapolis. Starting this Thursday, that flight will not be available.

“It’s a big bummer for a lot of people in our area,” Nummilien said.

All these changes may have people wondering if the airport will last. But the Delta County Airport is a part of the federal government’s Essential Air Service program. This means it must offer a minimum level of service.

It’s important to note these changes did not come from anyone at the airport. All flight decisions were made by the airline.

“We’re hoping that this is temporary. The airline is working really hard to get things in place to resolve this issue,” Nummilien said.

Business travelers often use Escanaba’s airport. But it may be too soon to know the impact of the reduced flight schedule.

“It’s always been a little bit difficult to get to the U.P. Whether you’re flying to the U.P. or, you know, it’s a distance for a lot of people because the U.P. is a destination,” said Kathy Reynolds, the CEO of Greater Munising Bay Partnership.

Reynolds expects this flight schedule to hurt local businesses.

“Possibly it’s going to cause people to spend one less night, which means they’re going to spend less money on lodging. Which means they’re going to spend less money in food, less money possibly in retail,” Reynolds said.

For anyone booking flights after December, the new flight schedule is not reflected into the new year so your flights are likely to change.