20190205_CheyenneRegionalAirport FILE

People exit the terminal at Cheyenne Regional Airport on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. Austin Humphreys/For the Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – Starting next month, daily flights to Dallas-Fort Worth will be leaving earlier from Cheyenne Regional Airport and returning later.

The hope is that the change makes it easier for those flying from Cheyenne to catch connecting flights.

Starting March 5, flights returning from Dallas will depart at 8:50 p.m. and arrive in Cheyenne at 10 p.m. Starting March 6, outbound flights will leave Cheyenne at 6 a.m. and arrive in Dallas at 9:15 a.m.

“It really enhances the connectivity,” Cheyenne Regional Air Focus Team President Wendy Volk said. “For those travelers going beyond Dallas-Fort Worth, it just opens up more possibilities.”

The early morning departure will benefit those wishing to make a connecting flight when they reach Dallas. Oftentimes, those trying to connect have to stay overnight to wait for the next flight, whether they’re traveling somewhere else or returning to Cheyenne.

Currently, flights depart from Dallas to Cheyenne at 11:29 a.m., and flights to Dallas depart at 1:19 p.m. from Sunday to Friday.

“We believe this will lead to more people using connections,” Cheyenne Regional Airport General Manager Nathan Banton said.

About half of the people who utilize the Dallas flights don’t connect to anywhere else. The hope is the new schedule will increase the possibilities for connections and draw new people to Cheyenne’s airport.

According to Banton, the new schedule also allows Wyoming residents who do business in Dallas to fly there for work, have dinner and fly back to Cheyenne on the same day.

“That is definitely a benefit for people doing business in Dallas,” Banton said.

SkyWest, which oversees the American Airlines service here, controls what time specific flights leave. Nonetheless, airport staff and advocates think the change will be positive for the airport and the region.

Cheyenne Regional Airport has seen a number of changes in recent years, with the completion of a new terminal and a new commercial service with SkyWest’s flights to Dallas. While roughly 1,700 people used the airport in 2017, more than 31,000 passengers flew through Cheyenne in the first year the service was offered last year.

Ultimately, Volk would like to see connections being utilized for people traveling anywhere from the East to West coasts.

“We’ve got to make this one successful, and then we can look at going beyond,” Volk said.

Margaret Austin is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. She can be reached at maustin@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3152.

Follow her on Twitter at @MargaretMAustin.

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