Pierre Airport to discontinue Minneapolis flights beginning in June

PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- Denver Air Connection and the Pierre Regional Airport gave flights to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport a try, but that’s coming to an end June 9, 2024.

At Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, Denver Air Connection Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy Jon Coleman says current usage of the flights isn’t enough to warrant continuing the route.

Denver Air began flying the Minneapolis-St. Paul route Nov. 30, 2023. Since then, Coleman says overall enplanements have gone down when compared to 2023, not up.

Other than switching the Minneapolis flights back to Denver, Coleman says the days and times they fly to and from Pierre will stay basically the same.

Coleman reiterated how disappointed he and city officials are that adding the Minneapolis flights didn’t work out.

As a federal Essential Air Service airport, if Pierre goes over the 10,000 boardings number, it’s eligible for $1-million from the US Department of Transportation. City Commissioner Jamie Huizenga (high-zin-ga) serves the commission liaison to the airport and says they don’t want to put that funding at risk.

Denver Air Connection currently provides 10 round trip flights each week between Pierre and the Denver International Airport and 2 weekly round trip flights between Pierre and Minneapolis. The MSP flights will return to Denver flights after June 9, 2024.

Denver Air also holds the EAS contract for the Watertown Regional Airport. From there, people can fly to either Denver or Chicago.