West Nebraska Regional Airport officials Wednesday expressed frustration with a new daily schedule from PenAir that reduces the number of daily round-trip flights to Denver and offers unfavorable departure and return times.
In a media release, PenAir said they are reducing the number of daily round-trip flights to Denver from three to two. Beginning June 1, weekday flights to Denver will depart at 9:25 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. and flights into Scottsbluff will arrive at 8:55 a.m. and 5:20 p.m.
Airport Manager Darwin Skelton says the flight times are “not optimal” and will not link with departing or returning connecting flights in Denver.
Airport Board Chair Don Overman expressed his unhappiness with an E-mail to PenAir Wednesday, saying the proposed times “won’t work” and will result in fewer passengers. He also claims the other two Nebraska cities PenAir serves, North Platte and Kearney, have not experienced the same reliability issues and have favorable departure and return times.
The airline has experienced a number of cancellations during its first six months of operation in Scottsbluff due to maintenance and pilot issues and claims the new schedule will allow it to be more reliable and consistent.
On the weekends, the Denver to Scottsbluff flight departs at 10 a.m. and lands at 10:55 a.m under the new schedule. Outbound flights from Scottsbluff to Denver will depart at 11:25 a.m. and land in the mile high city at 12:25 p.m.
PenAir was named as Scottsbluff’s Essential Air Service carrier in May of 2016 and began offering service to the region in November.