First non-stop Phoenix flight passengers get one exciting welcome

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — It was a big day at Rapid City’s Regional Airport. American Airlines started it’s non-stop flights to Phoenix, Arizona.

An increase in passengers over the past 18 months is allowing Rapid City Regional Airport to add multiple non-stop flights.

“We’ve added Los Angeles this year, we’ve added San Francisco, we’ve added North Carolina, we got Chicago of course, Dallas, Houston, now Phoenix,” Pettigrew said.

Passenger Stephanie Lofgereen lives in Arizona and has grandchildren in Rapid City. Now her trips to South Dakota will be a little faster.

“This way if the kids have a track meet or a piano recital I can get here much quicker since you can fly every day on American,” Lofgereen, said.

Today, these passengers were greeted with a water cannon salute and with the airport staff as they got off their flight.

“They drenched the plane with water and just the energy of being on the inaugural flight. They announced it and everybody just seemed to be a little more excited than normal,” Lofgereen, said.

“After a flight you’re always tired trying to find your way out and so it was a nice experience,” Kathy Culver, said.

The airport is hoping this new added flight will bring even more passengers into Rapid City.

“Promoting Rapid City just means more economic growth and the economic growth becomes a better quality of life,” Pettigrew said.

As more passengers travel through the airport, additional non-stop flights could be provided.

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