Hoeven Announces Delta Will Begin Air Service Between Williston and Minneapolis-St.Paul

Delta Also Exploring Plan to Purchase Bakken Crude to Fuel Fleet

WILLISTON, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today announced that Delta Air Lines is adding twice-daily, nonstop regional jet service between Williston and Minneapolis-St. Paul beginning in November. Williston Airport boardings from August 2010 to August 2012 increased by 119 percent. Hoeven has been working with Delta and other major carriers to increase the level and quality of service in Williston and other communities across the state to meet the needs of North Dakota’s growing economy and increasing air traffic.

Starting Nov. 12, Delta Connection partner Skywest Airlines will operate twice-daily, nonstop service flights between Williston’s Sloulin Field International Airport (ISN) and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Service will be provided using 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet 200 (CJR) aircraft. In addition, United Airlines in July announced that beginning Nov. 4 it will begin three round-trip flights between Williston and Denver, a route also served by Great Lakes Airlines.

“This is fantastic news for Williston and all of northwest North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “The Williston region will now have jet service to Minneapolis, a major eastern hub, and to Denver, a major western hub.”

Delta Air Lines is also looking to make another investment in North Dakota. The company is currently exploring the possibility of purchasing North Dakota crude oil to use at the company’s recently acquired Philadelphia-based refinery. The airline is the only major U.S. carrier that owns its own refinery to produce the jet fuel needed to operate its fleet.

To determine the potential benefits of purchasing domestic Bakken crude oil to make jet fuel, Delta is currently working with exploration companies in North Dakota. To date the company has mostly refined oil from the North Sea and is looking to purchase North Dakota oil as a way to decrease its annual jet fuel bill.

Delta has scheduled two outbound flights daily from Williston to Minneapolis-St. Paul, a morning flight departing at 7 a.m. arriving in Minneapolis at 8:25 a.m., and an afternoon flight departing at 2:45 p.m. and arriving in Minneapolis at 4:26 p.m. Inbound flights will depart from Minneapolis-St. Paul at 11:30 a.m. arriving in Williston at 1:28 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. arriving at 9:32 p.m.