Exciting News at Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) Makes 2018 the Year to Fly Local!

Written by Brian J. Grefe

If it’s been a while since you’ve flown — or flown out of the Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA, pronounced SEE-way) — this may be the year for you to check out the newly renovated airport in Mosinee and consider flying local.

Here’s why…

Over the next 6 months, available airline seats out of CWA will increase by 11% and prices will drop.



United_Airlines_logoBeginning April 9, United Airlines will be increasing their available seats by over 30% by bringing back their wildly popular early morning departure to Chicago and by increasing the size of that jet to a 76-seat Embraer 175 — with a FIRST-CLASS cabin. Think upgrades! The corresponding inbound flight will be the late-night arrival. (So, no more getting stuck in Chicago because of a lack of connecting flights.)


American Airlines will follow suit by increasing their seat capacity serving Central Wisconsin by over 10% starting in June. This is following a 13% increase in seat capacity last year.

Delta_Airlines_logoDelta, CWA’s dominant airline, continues to perform well. With 5 flights daily, travelers on Delta can get anywhere in the world quickly and easily.

So, what does all this mean for YOU?

The increase in service is largely drawn from head-to-head competition between United and American Airlines systemwide. This type of competition in other communities (such as Seattle) has shown to reduce the overall price of airline tickets. Will we see this at CWA?


Prices are already coming down…

This is especially true when travelers have flexible travel dates and can book with CWA weeks in advance of their travel date.


Our top 3 destinations from CWA are:

  • Denver
  • Orlando
  • Las Vegas

The next big travel period is, of course, Spring Break 2018. {Woo-hoo!} When checked on February 8, 2018:

Flights to Denver, Orlando, or Las Vegas for Spring Break were as low as $280 – $362 roundtrip from CWA.

So, why are the airlines competing?

Like all competitions, they’re all trying to establish a “winner” and a “loser.” Winners create more revenue, improve their network, and gain market share. Losers do the opposite and potentially leave the market. {Eek!}

But here in Central Wisconsin, we have the travelers AND the demand to make this situation a WIN-WIN.

Here’s why…


Shown above in blue is CWA’s “catchment area.” A catchment area is simply the geographic area surrounding an airport where it can reasonably expect to draw passengers. In other words…

If you live, work, or play in the blue area above, CWA is your hometown airport — and flying out of any other airport is like rooting for the Chicago Bears instead of the Green Bay Packers!

There are, sometimes, good reasons why people choose to fly out of a distant, strange, or unpleasant airport, though. These reasons usually revolve around price or schedule.

In CWA’s catchment area, there are approximately 245,000 annual travelers right now. CWA “catches” 47% of those travelers (approximately 115,000 travelers per year).

The other 53% choose to use other airports (e.g., Madison, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis–St. Paul; as shown in the chart below).


Because of this pattern, there doesn’t have to be a “winner” and a “loser” at the Central Wisconsin Airport — ALL the airlines can win.

Airline capacity can grow significantly out of Central Wisconsin with the people who are already traveling today! It couldn’t be easier.

But travelers need to choose to save time, save hassle, and save money by flying CWA.

So, how will these cheap fares be sustainable AFTER the competition ends?

That’s where YOU come in…

It seems like common sense, but ALWAYS purchase the ticket out of CWA that has the best price. Airlines track this information. If travelers consistently buy their tickets based on best price at CWA, airfares will continue to decrease. This is great news for Central Wisconsin!

But make no mistake:

We’re in a “use it or lose it” situation… If people don’t change their traveling patterns — that is, if the additional seat capacity at CWA is NOT used — an airline could easily pull out of CWA.

The Central Wisconsin community has asked for more air service at CWA. People were tired of driving to Minnesota or Milwaukee just to catch a flight. The airlines have responded by offering more flight options.

Now, all YOU have to do is book your flight through CWA… It’s local, affordable, and convenient.


So, skip the LONG drive, lines, & wait times.

  • Park super-close in our convenient lot (only $7 per day).
  • Enjoy fast check-in and security.
  • Get to your gate in minutes, not hours.
  • Experience the comfort of our newly renovated, expanded, modern terminal, featuring the Fly Away Café (view menu here) & Gift Shop, as well as our new art gallery showcasing paintings and photography by local artists.


Three major airlines. Minutes from your home or office.
It’s easier from here… Fly CWA today!

Brian_GrefeBrian J. Grefe

Airport Director  |  Central Wisconsin Airport

Brian has been serving as Airport Director at Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) since February 2016. Prior to CWA, he worked at airports in Aspen, CO, and in Duluth, MN. With his wife and two sons, he is now living in Rib Mountain.  Email Brian Grefe.

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