Riverton could support two daily jet flights to Denver, airport board is told

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Riverton Airport Board was told last week that Wyoming Aeronautics believes Riverton can support twice-daily jet service to Denver with an annual revenue guarantee in the neighborhood of  $2.1 milllion.

Missy White of Lander, chair of the Air Service Enhancement Task Force, reported that the local share of that guarantee would be less than that, given that Riverton is in line to receive a share of Wyoming Enhanced Air Service Program grants, perhaps as much as $1.2 million. “It’s a good faith estimate, not a hard and fast number,” she said. “It’s a revenue guarantee and not a subsidy. If we get enough passengers, the amount would be prorated down from that. That is why we need to get the big picture out to the county and have people start using the airport again.”

White said Riverton’s past history of boarding over 30,000 passengers is a positive when looking at enhanced air service, but she said that was in the distant past. “If we can get people flying again, it will demonstrate that we could generate that number again, and make Riverton attractive for such jet service. We have to prove to them that we are a proven entity.”

She also said connecting Riverton with another city might not be realistic for jet service, due to the costs involved every time an aircraft has to take off and land. “It’s not something a legacy carrier is interested in. Direct flights are preferred.”

The Airport Board was told that the reliability of Great Lakes commercial flights coming into Riverton has increased dramatically from the first quarter of the year. Out of 150 flights in June, only 12 were cancelled. The increased performance is due in part to Riverton being connected with Worland on flights to and from Denver. Worland is an airport where air service is subsidized and guaranteed.

5 Comments

  1. Bette Geraud

    Really would be nice to have flights coming in and out that we could count on ! We have guess coming in and out in August !! Keeping our fingers crossed !

  2. Philip D Wesaw

    I think the big issue with Riverton flights is the cost it takes to get to Denver. I can drive to Denver, stay the night at a hotel, drive home and still come under the cost of the flight. The cost is rising in airport travel yet with a fuel efficient car you can still do more for your money!

  3. Andy Jive

    Good point Phillip, as unless you really enjoy 6 to 7 hours of drive time one way to Denver, then 7 more in return? That may be feasible to one's pocketbook but, a killer when trading off your high mileage vehicle for a new one.
    Therefore from that perspective, a traveler would defeat his/her own purpose in traveling.
    My advice – if taken – Congress laid mandates in 2009 and we're reaping the benefits of [ill advised] Congressional action, years later. Therefore, finding reliable air service, not just Great Lakes, would make sense for air service in West Central Wyoming.

  4. Jeanne Fallon Hester

    I recently priced, in advance, flying round trip to nashville, was over $800.00. RIverton to Denver costs over $400. I ended up flying round trip from rock springs to Denver for $198.00. And they wonder why we won't fly out of Riverton?
    .

  5. Paul Calonge

    I really don't like having to drive to Denver, but have been let down a few times by Great Lakes. Shame, as I tried to support them with the 20-24 flights I take a year. Not being able to rebook from the Riverton desk any more if a flight is delayed, and not having a baggage agreement with United is a huge hassle; anyone who has had to knows how long the lines are at the United counters in the concourses. Just less stressful to drive now, despite the 6 hour drive time each way.

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