Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation announced it would launch EAS routes to four Montana destinations from Billings on February 1, marking an end to nearly a year’s wait for service since the now defunct Big Sky Airlines stopped flying to Glasgow, Glendive, Havre and Wolf Point. On the same day the United and Frontier Airlines code-share partner planned to start serving Sidney, Mont., from Billings and resume flights between Kansas City and Grand Island, Neb.
Now flying 25 Beech 1900s and six Brasilias, Great Lakes has won the rights to much of the EAS flying formerly done by Big Sky and fellow defunct EAS providers Skyway Airlines, Regions Air and Air Midwest. However, limited availability of suitable aircraft has left many towns without service for months at a time. Of the eight communities still awaiting service from Great Lakes, Owensboro, Ky., and Jackson, Tenn., rank among its top priorities because neither of them has received more than two months of regular service over the past two years.