- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Commercial air service has resumed in the cities of Devils Lake and Jamestown, with SkyWest Airlines launching flights to and from Denver.

Wyoming-based Great Lakes Airlines pulled out of the two cities early this year, citing problems in retaining pilots under new federal rules on pilot qualifications that took effect last August.

Leaders in both cities endorsed a switch to Utah-based SkyWest to provide service under the federal Essential Air Service program, which subsidizes service to smaller cities. Federal Transportation Department officials agreed to the switch, and flights resumed Thursday afternoon - this time on 50-seat passenger jets rather than on turboprop planes.

Devils Lake airport manager John Nord and Jamestown airport authority board member Jim Boyd both said the same thing: “This is a great day.”

“It’s going to be a game-changer for our community,” Boyd said. “We’re going to be back on the circuit with first-class service.”

Devils Lake has about 7,200 residents and Jamestown about 15,300.

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