Sun Country Airlines debuted nonstop service Dec. 19 between northern Wisconsin and Southwest Florida.
The flight, from Chippewa Valley Regional Airport in Eau Claire (EAU) to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers (RSW), will operate twice weekly, according to a statement from the Lee County Port Authority.
Minneapolis-based Sun Country Airlines announced the RSW-EAU service in July.
The Chippewa Valley Regional Airport approached Sun Country about providing what the federal government calls Essential Air Service (EAS) last spring, when SkyWest Airlines/United Express filed a notice that it intended to terminate EAS service at Chippewa Valley. Sun Country was selected by the government to "provide Eau Claire with a total of four weekly round trips per week including two round trips to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and approximately two round trips per week to Orlando, Las Vegas or Fort Myers adjusted seasonally," according to a separate statement from the airline, in July.
“Sun Country’s business model surges in times of peak demand, including the winter months, and utilizes cargo and charter flying at times of the year with less demand for scheduled service flying,” Grant Whitney, chief revenue officer, says in the statement. “We appreciate the enthusiasm of and partnership with the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport to connect the Chippewa Valley with Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the 78 destinations we serve as well as to provide service to Las Vegas, Orlando and Fort Myers.”