By Joey Gerardi
More Metroliner Flights Set to Begin in U.S.
Every AvGeek strives for unique and out-of-the-way experiences. In the United States, these AvGeek trips consist of flights such as Alaska’s Milk Run along the Alaskan panhandle, United Airlines’ Micronesian Island Hopper from Honolulu to Guam, and others. But perhaps the one most accessible to those on the mainland U.S. is located in the middle of the country and operates out of Denver on the U.S.’s only remaining passenger flight on a Metroliner. AirlineGeeks had a chance to take this flight roughly two years ago, the trip report of which can be found here.
The route operates to a small Essential Air Service, or EAS, located in northwestern Nebraska named Alliance. At least once a week, you will be able to see someone on social media making the trek out to the Mile High City to fly on this unique aircraft type, which has almost disappeared from the skies of the U.S. passenger market. The good news for AvGeeks is not only is the Metroliner sticking around in Alliance for a while longer, but they have just gained another route.
The aircraft in question, the Metroliner, is flown on Denver Air Connection, or DAC, and all flights are operated by a smaller company named ‘Key Lime Air.’ The airline was just awarded the EAS contract in the small community of McCook located in southwestern Nebraska and will be taking over the contract from the current airline, San Francisco-based Boutique Air. Metroliner flights on DAC to McCook will begin June 1, 2022, and will run until May 31, 2024.
So your options of flying a passenger Metroliner in the United States have doubled from only two daily flights to four once McCook begins.
More good news, the community of Cortez, Colo. has also recommended Denver Air Connection for its new upcoming EAS contract term. And while it isn’t final yet, if the DOT does award the contract to that airline, you will be able to fly from Denver all the way to Phoenix Sky Harbor, with a stop in Cortez, on the Metroliner.
Again, that isn’t 100% as the DOT hasn’t made the final decision yet. But even if they don’t get awarded the Cortez contract, this once nearly extinct aircraft in the United States, will be found on two, and maybe four routes in the country, and all stemming from the Rocky Mountain hub of Denver.