Casper Officials Continue to Tout Northwest Flights

Casper, WY – Casper air travel appears to have gotten a lift from the new flights to Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Northwest Airlines began flying to Casper in October. And thanks to the new service, 2004 was Natrona County International Airport's busiest year since 1992 with 70,312 people boarding planes. Casper Area Economic Development Alliance President Chris Manegold says Northwest has added some much-needed competition to the market. From his conversations with a local travel agent, Manegold says ticket prices are considerably cheaper on all Casper airlines, down about $100 on average since the Northwest service was announced. Manegold says low introductory fares from Northwest clearly played a role in that. But as ticket prices are moderating, he says travelers are still spending much less on tickets then they did before Northwest. Over $2 Million in local and state money was needed to secure the flights. That money was offered to Northwest as a revenue guarantee. But Manegold says he fully expects they won't need to guarantee revenue after the first year.