13 News has learned that Elite Airways will be suspending service from the Chicago Rockford International Airport to Fort Collins, Colorado this winter, according to Executive Director for RFD Mike Dunn.
Dunn says the Fort Collins route is actually doing well, but because a majority of Elite's business comes from charter flights for NCAA basketball teams, the airline is expected to announce the temporary service cut early in the winter season.
"Heavy traffic season for Colorado out of this area is spring, summer and fall. So they're going to take a little break, like most of the airlines do. [I'm] pretty sure that our folks in development are going to be announcing a second destination for Elite at the same time they put out the new Colorado schedule," Dunn said.
Dunn said the company would make an announcement soon of the specific end dates and return dates for the service.
The temporary service cut isn't the only big news out of RFD. Tomorrow, five local banks will officially announce an extension of credit to the airport to fund the AAR project. Dunn says the AAR project, which would put a permanent airplane repair and maintenance facility at RFD, would have died without the banks offering the loan. The loan will cover a funding gap from a lack of promised state funding.