Flights to be Restored to Pre-Pandemic Levels at RKS

Flights to be Restored to Pre-Pandemic Levels at RKS

ROCK SPRINGS — The twice-daily flights from Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport to Denver International Airport will begin again on June 1, 2024.

The reintroduction of these flights ends a more than 2-year hiatus that began on February 1, 2022, when flights were reduced to once-daily. The reduction in flight capacity was a result of a devastating pilot shortage. While the pilot shortage persists, there has been recent relief with increased interest in aviation careers and the recent slowdown in aircraft deliveries. Together, this has resulted in a drawback in record mainline airline hiring levels from those seen in 2022 and 2023, which is improving retention levels at the regional carriers.

“At a time when our corner of the state is experiencing exponential tourism growth and is on the brink of robust industrial growth that will result in thousands of new temporary and permanent jobs, demand for business and leisure connectivity has never been higher,” Airport Director Devon Brubaker said. “The timing of this announcement couldn’t be better for our community with large events like the National High School Finals Rodeo returning to Rock Springs this summer and growing business demand forthcoming.”

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Southwest Wyoming was not alone in these flight reductions as over 100 rural communities across the country have seen economically devastating reductions in air service levels fueled by Congressional action requiring a 600% increase in minimum flight hour requirements, an increasing trend line for mandatory age 65 retirements, robust airline fleet expansion, pandemic related early retirement incentives, and a constraint on FAA certificated check pilots.

“Despite this adversity, Southwest Wyoming was fortunate to not be on the list of communities that lost all service, despite having a smaller population then every community that did,” Brubaker said. “This is a testament to the support of the State of Wyoming, the Sweetwater County Commission, the Rock Springs City Council, the Green River City Council, as well as the strong, decades long relationship our community has maintained with SkyWest Airlines.”

With the return of twice-daily flights, Brubaker said Southwest Wyoming travelers will have more options to spread their wings and connect to over 150 worldwide destinations on over 450 daily flights with United Airlines.

The updated flight schedule is loaded through Sunday, August 18 and available for booking immediately on United Airlines’ website and mobile app. For travel beyond August 18, flight schedules will be updated in the coming weeks to allow for booking.