SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. The Western Nebraska Regional Airport has officially reached their 10-thousand boarding goal with United Airlines operated by Skywest. The journey was not always easy with difficulties from the prior two airlines.
“We had Great Lakes in the beginning,” said Cheryl Clause, Assistant Airport Director. “They did really good and they had 800 to 900 boardings a month. They slowly dwindled off and they started having cancellations and mechanical problems. Then the pilot shortage hit them.”
When the boarding numbers became extremely low, they went into an early bid. They decided to choose PenAir from recommendations with other airports and they were filing 98 percentiles. Clause says that PenAir ended up being worse than Great Lakes.
“Within a few months, PenAir filed for bankruptcy unfortunately,” said Clause. “We all felt bad about that with the troubles they had but it shows exactly what their problem was down here.”
Once they were free from PenAir, they officially received United Airlines, which is operated by Skywest, as an option. Cheryl says they were the best thing that has happened in this airport in a long time.
“They came at a perfect time and they are our life saver,” said Clause. “They have done tremendous for this airport, this community and I think they are going to keep improving us and with what they are going to bring to this community. I think they have more to offer that has yet to be seen.”
Cheryl says that with their partnership with United Airlines, operated by Skywest, they could see estimated numbers between 15,000 and 16,000 for the next year.
The Western Nebraska Regional Airport is expected to reach 1,350 boardings for the month of October and over 12,000 boardings for the year.