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Home Michigan MI Blogs Kalamazoo/Battle Creek and Muskegon Airports Welcome New Air Carriers

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek and Muskegon Airports Welcome New Air Carriers

By Kathy Gibbons

Two Michigan airports are expanding flight options for travelers.

At Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, Houston, Texas-based Avelo Airlines has begun offering flights to Orlando on Mondays and Fridays.

“Kalamazoo is a great market and city for Avelo for several reasons,” says Courtney Goff, Avelo communications manager. “The airport is very convenient and customer friendly. There are no other routes to Florida so it’s an unserved city for those looking to travel to the Sunshine State. The city is thriving with universities and business so it makes it a no-brainer.”

The schedule will change to Thursdays and Sundays come Jan. 8, she adds. “This allows for customers to enjoy a long weekend or extended stay in Orlando. As we continue to grow and acquire more planes, we may change frequencies to allow for more travels on more days of the week. But for now, this twice-weekly service is doing well and it shows via bookings.”

Palm Beach-based Southern Airways Express recently began offering service from Muskegon County Airport, providing four daily departures to Chicago-O’Hare International Airport with plans to increase to five during the busy holiday travel season. Southern Airways Express replaces SkyWest, which issued notice earlier in 2022 that it intended to suspend service to 29 airports including Muskegon County’s this past Sept. 30.

Robert Lukens, Muskegon County community development director, said the Federal Aviation Administration issued an RFP for services to the 29 airports, and Muskegon chose Southern Airways Express.

“We chose SAE due to the fact that while their aircraft were smaller, frequency would be increased and the arrival times at ORD (Chicago O’Hare International Airport) allowed travelers to make the connections,” Lukens says, noting that passenger numbers have been increasing by the day since Southern Airways Express launched service there.

“Chicago is one of the nation’s major hubs,” he adds. “Four fights per day from Muskegon to Chicago allow passengers to make the connections they need to conduct business or travel.”