Windy City hotdogs and Chicago-style pizza was in full supply at the Gogebic-Iron County Airport on Wednesday as Chicago will be a new and frequented destination. The change comes as Air Choice One steps in with a two-year Essential Air Service contract at the airport.
??What we do, our model, is we come into a small community, as you see today, and we really get involved,?? said Air Choice One CEO, Shane Storz. ??We become a partner with the local community, with the chambers and businesses and show them we want to participate to grow the service.??
Great Lakes Airlines originally had a contract with the airport, but service was suspended in February due to tight federal requirement for pilot hours. But now since their July 7 start, Air Choice One has been flying customers daily.
??We??ve sold over 900 tickets in the last 45 days; we're really excited about that,?? Storz said.
Two of the 900 tickets belong to Irene Vuorenmaa and her husband who flew to Chicago this month via Air Choice One.
??It was wonderful! The sunrise, it was just beautiful,?? said Vuorenmaa. ??I used to go through Great Lakes and I used to go from here to Rhinelander, Rhinelander to Milwaukee, Milwaukee to Grand Rapids.??
The Finnish couple living in Ironwood says they'll have more opportunity now to visit family closer to Chicago. Air Choice One, based out of St. Louis Missouri, currently offers three route trip flights to Chicago per day in an eight-seat passenger Cessna Grand Caravan plane. Community members and interested residents say it's a relief to have reliable airline service return again to the county airport.