The new air service carrier at the Great Bend Municipal Airport received an official welcome Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Rob McKinney, chief executive officer of SeaPort Airlines, told those who attended, “We are thrilled to be able to extend our presence here in Kansas. Make sure you give us a try.”
SeaPort Airlines, based in Portland, Ore., started commercial air service from Great Bend this week, offering flights to Wichita Mid-Continent Airport and Kansas City International Airport. The carrier, which also serves the Salina Regional Airport, was awarded a two-year Essential Air Service contract for Great Bend, replacing Great Lakes Aviation.
Wichita Mid-Continent Air Service Manager Valerie Wise attended Tuesday’s celebration, and reporter Daniel McCoy from the Wichita Business Journal was there.
“We’re very supportive,” Wise said, noting the service will be beneficial for both airports and communities.
McCoy posted on his blog that the flight from Wichita to Great Bend took 39 minutes.
Mayor Mike Allison and members of the Great Bend City Council have noted the importance of commercial air service to the economic growth of the area. “I’d like to welcome SeaPort to Great Bend,” Allison said Tuesday. “We’re really happy to have you.”
The airline flies nine-passenger Cessna Caravans and offers two round trips every weekday to Wichita and one daily to Kansas City. There will also be flights on weekends, though on a reduced schedule.
The airline is offering $39 one-way flights to Wichita or Kansas City as an introductory price through the end of July. With the added convenience of free parking at the airport and free baggage allowance up to 50 pounds, Great Bend residents were ready to begin booking flights.