Milwaukee Mitchell Airport Manager Brian Dranzik joins BizTimes Editor-in-Chief Andrew Weiland to discuss airport rebound after COVID-19 pandemic, addition of new flights and carriers , the potential for more international travel and the latest efforts to relaunch Midwest Express.
Here are some highlights from their conversation:
In addition to new destinations like Destin, Savannah, Charleston and Portland, Maine:
Weiland: “I don’t remember Milwaukee ever offering service to destinations like this, do I?” “
Dranzik: ” Yes that’s right. This is something new. Again, they were just looking at where they could potentially place flights and how it happened. In some cases I think it could have been a bit experimental, we’ll see how it goes. This has created unique opportunities for airlines to consider doing something like this. â¦ We will see how it went in our conversations with the airlines, we will see if they are considering re-establishing such a service.
On the potential of a flight from Milwaukee to Europe:
Dranzik: âWe have had conversations over time with different carriers about this. It really just takes people from our region to get involved, so it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg question. We believe that if and when we get that first flight to a European destination, it will open the eyes of many carriers to a lot of possibilities. This is something that we are working on and I hope that in the future, after the pandemic, we will be successful at some point.
On the status of the international terminal on the E Concourse:
Dranzik: âHe’s a bit of a victim of the COVID experience we’ve been going through for a year and a half, almost two years. These revenues to support this project come mainly from the charges for passenger facilities and concession revenues, so as these declined, we had to postpone the project. We are confident that we have a good plan that can go into construction, we are just monitoring the cash flow and determining when the time is right to restart this project. It will probably be another year or two before we can launch this. We would have basically, I think, completed this project this year if we had stayed on schedule. “