American Airlines will provide daily nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Cheyenne after the Wyoming city went more than seven months without commercial air service.

The service operated by SkyWest Airlines started Sunday, and each Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet can seat about 50 passengers, The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported .

Cheyenne has been without commercial air service since late March, when Great Lakes Airlines suspended all turboprop flights.

The Cheyenne Regional Air Focus Team signed a one-year contract with SkyWest this summer, guaranteeing a minimum revenue of $2.3 million.

"We are going to continue raising money, because we'd like to eventually add routes or more flights," CRAFT President Wendy Volk said. "We don't want to be in the position we were when Great Lakes left."

SkyWest didn't release the latest booking numbers, but company spokeswoman McKall Morris said, "We are really encouraged with the support we are seeing so far."

The daily flight from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport departs at 9:30 a.m. and arrives in Cheyenne at 10:50 a.m. The flight from Cheyenne departs at 11:20 a.m. and arrives in Dallas at 2:20 p.m.

Tim Barth, director of the Cheyenne Regional Airport, said the airline will employ 10 to 12 new employees from Cheyenne, all of whom did not previously have jobs.

"They are cross-utilized agents," he said. "So they check you in at the counter, put on jackets and grab your bags, throw them on the airplane and fuel it up. They do it all."

The flights also will test the airport's new $18.5 million terminal.

"It's a huge step up from the old terminal," Barth said. "Before, we could only handle about 10 people in security screening at once. Now, we can handle 50 without any delays."


Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com