Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) to Resume 11 Flights Daily to Detroit, Minneapolis, & Chicago :: Plus, New Evening Flights

Written by Brian J. Grefe

There is strong demand for air travel in Central Wisconsin, and the airlines are responding. Beginning in June 2021, the Central Wisconsin Airport will resume pre-pandemic flight volumes. There will be more planes leaving Central Wisconsin than there have been in over a year.

Through the summer:

That is 11 flights daily departing CWA! (A year ago, we had 1 to 3 flights depending on the day.)


New this summer, all 3 airlines will have at least 1 evening flight that will depart after 4:30 to serve the evening crowd. This — combined with a restructuring of the major hubs — will give our travelers the ability to work a full day then get to the ocean after work.

Air Travel & Pricing Trends

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has dubbed 2021 as the year of the “Great Human Reconnection.” Nationwide air-travel patterns are proving him right. The top U.S. travel regions are the oceans, the mountains, and the American Southwest. As you might expect, these destinations are leisure focused. All across the country, there is a pent-up demand for vacation. People want to get out of their homes and visit new places and people once more.

Locally, we are noticing this trend too. At CWA, for the first time probably ever, we are seeing more leisure travel than business travel. This is driven by more than pent-up demand…

Airline prices are great right now!

Prices dropped significantly over a year ago, and they haven’t come up that much, even with more people flying and restrictions loosening. If you have flexible travel dates and plan ahead, you can get nearly anywhere in the U.S. from CWA for $150 to $200 each way (or less).


When Will CWA Expand Travel Destinations?

Frequently, I get asked the question:

“When will CWA get flights to places like Denver, Atlanta, or Florida?”

I’m excited to say this is the first step…

We need to fill the flights we are given; then we will be given more.

To put this into perspective, there are over half a million “flights” taken by our communities annually. At CWA we capture just under half of these flights. For the rest of the flights, passengers “leak” to other distant airports. If all these passengers from our area, who are already flying today, chose to fly local, we would probably have 4 airlines serving Central Wisconsin with 5 to 6 nonstop destinations. But for now, you can still fly anywhere in the world from CWA through the 3 hubs of Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis.

Renovations to CWA

You can now enjoy an expansive seating area at your gate complete with new charging stations throughout the concourse.

Central Wisconsin Airport - New Concourse
During the pandemic, extensive remodeling was completed at Central Wisconsin Airport, including significant updates to the concourse. (Photo courtesy of CWA.)

Other updates include:

  • State-of-the-art, touch-free restrooms
  • Privacy rooms
  • New landscaping
  • A giant chess set for public use
  • Additional food options at the café
  • …and more!

Find further details and photos of CWA’s 2020 remodeling projects in “Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) Renovation Is Complete  ::  When You’re Ready to Fly Again, Come Fly With Us.”

Staying Safe During Air Travel

State, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or territorial and local health department where you are, along your route, and where you are going. Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel.

When traveling by air, check if your airline requires any health information, testing, or other documents. Current travel recommendations be found at the CDC’s “Domestic Travel During COVID-19” webpage.

Our maintenance staff have always made cleanliness a priority and continue to concentrate efforts by completing additional thorough cleanings and paying more frequent attention to heavy touchpoints. Hand sanitizing stations have been installed in prioritized areas throughout the facility.

CWA Hand Sanitizing station
Concourse hand sanitizing station at Central Wisconsin Airport. (Photo courtesy of CWA.)

Per federal regulation, face masks are required at the CWA terminal and to board an aircraft. Face masks must be worn at all times during the flight and must cover the nose and mouth.

​We encourage all of our passengers to follow CDC travel and prevention guidance regarding COVID-19.


Thank you for supporting your local hometown airport, CWA.

Your journey begins here… The better way to travel.

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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