Thursday, July 02, 1998
Governor John Engler announced today that Northwest Airlines will initiate nonstop service from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Alpena with continuing services to Sault Ste. Marie, through their current Airlink Partner, Mesaba Airlines. The projected start date for service is September 9, 1998, and will provide convenient connections to hundreds of destinations throughout the Northwest system. "This is excellent news for both travelers in the Sault Ste. Marie and Alpena areas," said Governor John Engler. "By extending air service to both these destinations, Northwest Airlines is providing a valuable link between these Northern Michigan cities and the Detroit metropolitan area. Air travel will definitely be made easier for businessmen and leisure travelers from these areas." Northwest Airlines agreed to provide the new commuter service to several areas including Alpena and Sault Ste. Marie in the Spring of 1996 as part of an agreement with the state. Under this agreement the state will provide a total of $65 million toward construction of three supporting facilities: a satellite terminal, which will provide a point arrival and departure for Michigan passengers and will allow for increased service on shorter routes throughout the state; an international facility, which will allow customs processing for international travelers; and a cargo and maintenance facility. Service between Alpena and Sault Ste. Marie will be operated as Northwest Airlink and will be provided on a Saab 340 aircraft which seats 30 passengers. The new service will allow passengers from Northern Michigan access to Northwest's several nonstop daily flights to Europe and Asia from Detroit.