< Reveal sidebar

Denver Air Connection Expands in Minneapolis

Denver Air Connection planes lined up in Denver. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

Denver-based Denver Air Connection, or more commonly known as DAC, will be expanding from its Minneapolis/St. Paul hub, which is due to a contract refresh. Pierre, S.D., an EAS community the airline has served since June 2021 when SkyWest terminated their contract here, along with nearby Watertown, S.D., which have a joint EAS contract and are usually awarded together, just had their contract re-awarded to Denver Air Connection once again.

The DAC check-in desk in Watertown (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

Back in 2021, the contract for the two communities was awarded to DAC, with Watertown’s proposal including flights to both Chicago O’Hare and Denver, while Pierre only got Denver flights.

Under the new contract, Watertown will continue to receive what it already has, nonstop flights to both Chicago and Denver. But, Pierre will be adding a new destination; Minneapolis/St. Paul, in addition to the Denver flights currently operated. Up to four of the 12 weekly flights from Pierre will now be going to Minneapolis.

This will be the first time Pierre has had flights to Minneapolis or any destinations east of the city since Great Lakes Airlines served the airport before it collapsed in March 2015. This will also be the city’s first jet service to Minneapolis since the 1980’s as all flights to Minneapolis between 1980 and 2015 were on propeller-driven aircraft.

These flights will be the airline’s third destination out of Minneapolis as they already serve Thief River Fall, Minn. and Ironwood, Mich. from the airport. The new contract is set to begin on June 1, 2023, but flights have not gone on sale as of yet given the contract was just awarded to the airline a few days ago and they need time to get resources together before beginning to sell the flights.

Flights and schedules are subject to change and all information in this article was obtained through publicly viewable documents.

Joey Gerardi


  • Joey Gerardi

    Joe has always been interested in planes, for as long as he can remember. He grew up in Central New York during the early 2000s when US Airways Express turboprops ruled the skies. Being from a non-aviation family made it harder for him to be around planes and would only spend about three hours a month at the airport. He was so excited when he could drive by himself and the first thing he did with the license was get ice cream and go plane spotting for the entire day. When he has the time (and money) he likes to take spotting trips to any location worth a visit. He’s currently enrolled at Western Michigan University earning a degree in Aviation Management and Operations.

    View all posts

Subscribe to AirlineGeeks' Daily Check-In

Receive a daily dose of the airline industry's top stories along with market insights right in your inbox.

Related Stories

JetBlue Awarded First-Ever Essential Air Service Contract

After months of consideration, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) officially has a new air carrier in the EAS game: JetBlue.…

How the New FAA Reauthorization Impacts Small Community Air Service

On Thursday, President Biden signed the bipartisan FAA reauthorization bill into law. Within the legislation are sweeping changes to aviation…

Breeze Makes Bid for First Essential Air Service Contract

We have seen more unusual Essential Air Service (EAS) proposals on increasingly larger aircraft in the past couple of years.…