UPDATE: Flights Between St. Cloud, Chicago to be Suspended in April [AUDIO]
ST. CLOUD -- Flights between the St. Cloud Regional Airport and Chicago's O'Hare Airport are scheduled to be suspended in April.
Mayor Dave Kleis, Governor Mark Dayton and SkyWest Airlines held a conference call this (Wednesday) morning to discuss the future of the twice daily flights. SkyWest officials informed Kleis and Dayton about their decision to suspend the flights during that call. The last scheduled flight to Chicago right now is scheduled for April 5th. SkyWest says they are willing to come back, once St. Cloud can find a long term sustainable solution.
Kleis says subsidized dollars have been used to band-aid the limited number of passengers the flights have seen.
Kleis says they have been in discussion with SkyWest over the last several months about this issue and says St. Cloud is still committed to keeping these flights.
Kleis says Governor Dayton is committed to helping to find a state subsidy, either in the form of a loan or a grant. Kleis also plans to press for legislative action during the upcoming state legislative session. He says it's also possible they could find some financial support from the federal government again as well.
Kleis says the lack of passengers on the flights had a lot to do with things that were "beyond our control, like the fire in Chicago that disrupted air service and weather cancellations". He says, "ultimately it was SkyWest's decision to make".
Regular daily air service between the two cities began less than a year ago, back in May of this year.