The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport will gain a daily afternoon flight this spring.
Northwest Airlines reported it will increase the service from three daily flights to four beginning April 4 through its partner, Mesaba Airlines. Northwest reported the addition amounts to a 20 percent increase in daily seats here.
The new afternoon flight will continue through May 31 and then restart for the fall and holiday time from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31. The flight is scheduled to depart the Twin Cities airport at 11:15 a.m. and arrive in Brainerd at 12:09 p.m. It will leave Brainerd at 2:45 p.m. and arrive in the Twin Cities at 3:35 p.m.
Northwest announced it is "pleased to work with communities like Brainerd that are motivated to support additional service. Community leaders understand that development of local air service will have long-term economic benefits in central Minnesota. This six-month pilot program is intended to enhance local service so that more passengers will use Brainerd instead of driving to the Twin Cities. Local support is crucial to making this enhanced service work."
A partnership between Northwest and the city of Brainerd, through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Small Communities Air Service Development Pilot Program, is behind the additional flight. The pilot program covers the six months of the service. Northwest reports St. Cloud also is receiving an additional daily flight.
Dawn Sabir, Tumbleroos owner in downtown Brainerd, bought the Gumdrop Tree from Cathy Hughes, who is keeping her original Gumdrop Tree store in Aitkin and focusing on Cookies 'N' Things, a new store in downtown Aitkin, which is expected to open in March.
The sale was finalized last week. After a little remodeling, Tumbleroos and the Gumdrop Tree will open together Tuesday. Sabir said Gumdrop Tree customers should not expect many changes in the store's inventory, which focuses on toys, games and gifts for children and nostalgic candy.
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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