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Dalrymple administration urges United to offer Grand Forks flights

Gov. Jack Dalrymple's administration is urging United Airlines to begin offering flights to and from Grand Forks International Airport, governor's spokesman Jeff Zent said Thursday.

Zent said the administration was fairly certain the flights would be availalbe, but spokeswoman Jody Link clarified later that no decision has been made.

Residents served by the Grand Forks airport need additional air passenger service, particularly flights to and from the Southwest United States, Dalrymple said in a news release. He and his office staff have been in contact with United executives to make their case, the release said.

Grand Forks International is the only airport among North Dakota's four largest that does not provide a daily, direct flight to Denver.

Delta Airlines provides six daily, 50-passenger flights between Grand Forks and the Twin Cities. Allegiant Air's standard flight schedule provides for two, 150-seat flights each week from Grand Forks to Phoenix, Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas.

Dalrymple said he told United executives Grand Forks' proximity to Canada provides an "ideal opportunity," as does the area's robust economy and strong business climate.

"For three years running, the Grand Forks airport has set records for passenger boardings and meeting this growing demand for air service is essential to the region's continued economic growth and quality of life," Dalrymple said.