Rhinelander airport leaders optimistic for the future - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rhinelander airport leaders optimistic for the future

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RHINELANDER (WAOW) -- The Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport may soon be losing Frontier Airlines. But local leaders said the airport plans to be around for a long time.

Airport manager Joe Brauer said losing Frontier Airlines is just another bump in the road and one he feels confident they'll be able to overcome.

Over the summer, both Delta and Frontier flew in and out of the city. Brauer said they have a strong market in Rhinelander, but the effects of a struggling economy have taken a toll. He said even if Frontier leaves, they have enough to keep the airport in business, like charter flights and FedEx deliveries.

"We've been very fortunate here throughout the years," said Brauer. "When you look at airports our size, not too many of them have two airlines. We were very blessed for a number of years for having two airlines to service a market of our size."

Brauer said he's been talking with American and United Airlines about a possible connection between Rhinelander and Chicago. He said a deal could be finalized in the next six months or so. And until then, Frontier Airlines will continue its routes through the city.

The airport director said flights in and out of the airport have been pretty steady through the summer months. He said most planes traveling between Rhinelander and Milwaukee have been more than half full.

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