Editorial

Boardings up at Cape Airport; flights added for 2019

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Boardings at Cape Girardeau Regional Airport are way up for the first 11 months of this year, but the ultimate milestone -- 10,000 boardings -- remains elusive.

Boardings have increased by more than 50 percent over a year ago, from 5,300 to 8,000 for the first 11 months as SkyWest Airlines makes adjustments. With a strong December, Cape Girardeau could see close to 9,000.

Ten thousand is an important threshold, because that equates to $1 million in federal funding for eligible projects for every year it hits that target.

SkyWest flies to Chicago, and beginning in January will offer 19 round trips per week, compared to the current 12. On some weekdays, SkyWest will have three flights, two of which are routed through Paducah, which adds an hour to travel time. Typically, the airline offers the non-stop flight at noon, with one-stop flights around 6 a.m. and around 4 p.m.

The city hopes the added flights will boost boardings even more in 2019 with hopes of finally reaching that 10,000-passenger barrier.

The route to Chicago via SkyWest seems to be catching on. Many feel the previous system with flights to St. Louis ultimately didn't make much sense, because it's less than a 2-hour drive to the city. O'Hare offers more connecting flights nationally and internationally.

Here's to hoping the airline continues to gain more customers, and more improvements can be made to the local airport.

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