Duluth Airport Ready For Summer Travel, Growing Great Lakes Cruises

DULUTH, Minn. — The busiest season for air travel at the Duluth International Airport is about to take off. And there’s a new excitement with airport management involving cruises.

Executive Director Tom Werner told FOX 21 the growing Great Lakes cruises in and out of the Duluth Port are providing growing demand from airlines at the airport.

Werner said United and Delta take off with very few empty seats during the summer months.

Delta, for example, will be adding a larger aircraft to its daily flight to Minneapolis because demand is expected to be back to 2019 levels. He said United is also solid with daily flights to Chicago. So with that and more cruises docking in Duluth, those airlines are taking note for the possibility of more flights and bigger aircraft.

“The airlines have both responded — both Delta and United to that. So, as Great Lakes cruising grows and Duluth grows as a port of embarkation and debarkation. There’s no question it’s going to have an impact, a positive impact, on air service. It’s going to benefit everybody in the region with additional flights during that season,” Werner said.

Werner said the airlines continue to face challenges coming out of the pandemic, though, including a pilot shortage. He said that shortage has pushed back the possibility of Duluth getting a direct flight hub in Denver.

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