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St. Cloud Lands Regular Daily Flights To Chicago [AUDIO,VIDEO]

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, Airport Director Bill Towle, and Chair of the Greater St.Cloud Development Corporation Al Kremers. Photo by WJON.com’s Jim Maurice

ST. CLOUD – Regular daily air service is returning to the St. Cloud Regional Airport.

Local leaders announced today (Monday) they’ve reached an agreement with United to provide twice-daily flights to-and-from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Skywest Airlines.

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Airport Director Bill Towle says the flights will begin on May 6th.  The airline has signed a one-year agreement.  They’ll be flying 50-passenger jets.

Towle says now they have to make sure the flights are full.

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St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says business travelers will be the big key to the success of the flights.  But, he also says leisure travelers around central Minnesota will like the convenience.

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St. Cloud Regional Airport offers free parking, in contrast to the $20 a day fees at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Kleis says there are no plans to start charging to park your car.  He says they have a lot of land, and can always add more parking space, if that becomes a problem.

Kleis says the city doesn’t have any plans to add staff to the airport this year, but may have to look at staffing levels for their budget in 2015.

Four years ago, on January 1st, 2010 Northwest Airlines stopped flying their 4-5 daily Mesaba Flights to-and-from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, leaving St. Cloud with no regular air service.  Since then Allegiant Airlines has come in to offer twice-weekly flights to Mesa, Arizona and a weekly flight to Orlando, Florida.  Towle says they continue to talk to Allegiant to offer more flights to other destinations like Las Vegas as well.

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