Change Is In the Air

This fall Kearney Regional Airport is welcoming a new opportunity with a larger aircraft carrier PenAir and ending service with longtime carrier Great Lakes Airlines. After receiving seven bids from airlines across the country, the Kearney City Council unanimously recommended PenAir to the DOT in March. PenAir was the only airline that submitted bids that met all five of the DOT’s Essential Air Service selection criteria. The criteria include service reliability, contractual and marketing arrangements with a larger airline at the hub airport, interline agreements with a larger airline at the hub, support from elected officials, and the inclusion of a community marketing plan.

The U.S. Department of Transportation approved PenAir’s bid for Kearney’s two-year Essential Air Service contract on May 25, 2016 and will begin service in Kearney on November 1, 2016.

Who’s PenAir and what can we expect on start up?

PenAir was founded in 1955 in Pilot Point, Alaska by Orin Seybert, and has remained headquartered in Alaska and under family ownership ever since. It is one of the largest regional airlines in Alaska and the Northeastern U.S., and one of the largest operators of its primary aircraft—the Saab 340—in the U.S. PenAir is proud of its heavy involvement in the communities in which it operates and its internal culture of safety. You can learn more about the company at

PenAir begins twice-daily, scheduled service between Kearney and Denver, CO November 1, with the inaugural flight departing Kearney at 4:05 p.m.

Transferring Bags to Connecting Airlines
In order for your bags to be transferred to a connecting airline both airlines must have a baggage agreement. PenAir currently has agreements with: Alaska Airlines, Delta, United, and American Airlines. These are the only airlines that we can transfer bags to from any PenAir hub station, including Denver, CO. If the airline you are connecting to is not on the list above, you must pick up your bags at your connecting airport and re-check your bags to your final destination. Fees may be collected from each point of departure when re-checking your bags.

Follow PenAir for Updates

Sign up for our e-newsletter at for updates regarding travel and deals!

Book A Flight