An increase in air travel in Waterloo has prompted Northwest Airlines to expand its operation there. Bob Brenner’s director of state and local government affairs for Northwest Airlines who says right now four airplane flights and one jet land and take off each day at the Waterloo Regional Airport. He says the airline had serious doubts whether jet service would work in Waterloo, and points out that since 9-11 airlines have been “risk averse,” not taking chances. Brenner says Waterloo’s mayor, Chamber of Commerce and members of the community never quit pressing Northwest to increase its service at the airport.They put up a revenue guaranty, putting their money where their mouth is, and the airline started jet service and hasn’t had to use a nickel of that guaranty fund, as Brenner declares the jet route a “total success.” The city leverage that success, and the airline’s profit, into an agreement to add a fifth turbo-prop route each day and that new route began today (Monday). Waterloo Mayor John Rooff says in December the city will begin working on convincing Northwest to add a second jet. He doesn’t know where the second jet will be scheduled among the flights, but says city officials are “very pleased” to review the number of passengers and flight loading, which he says is steadily increasing. All the flights are between Waterloo-Cedar Falls and Minneapolis-St Paul.
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