Delta’s Minneapolis flight returning to Great Falls

The Delta Airlines direct flights to Minneapolis are scheduled to return Feb. 17, 2023, according to the Great Falls International Airport.

The flights will operate daily, departing Great Falls at 5:45 a.m. and reaching Minneapolis at 9:25 a.m., according to the airport.

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Returning flights will leave Minneapolis at 9:30 p.m. and reach Great Falls at 11:15 p.m.

The flights will be on 76-seat regional jets with two-class service, according to the airport.

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“The return of direct service to Minneapolis is an exciting development for the Great Falls market and the Airport Authority thanks Delta Airlines for their investment in our Great Falls community.  Delta’s Minneapolis route provides important east-bound business and leisure flight connections,” according to an airport release.

Based on the schedules currently published by all airlines, the Great Falls airport is expecting 8 percent more seats in the first five months of 2023 than the airport had in 2019, before the pandemic.

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Delta discontinued the Minneapolis flight out of Great Falls in October 2021.

At the time, John Faulkner, airport director, told The Electric that the cut was due to the regional pilot shortage and affected other Montana airports too.

Faulkner said in October 2021 that at the onset of the COVID pandemic, the airlines bought out most senior pilots and as they came out of the pandemic, hired up regional pilots so there are fewer left available for regional routes.