GJ flight to Denver now goes through Montrose

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- The flight to Denver from Grand Junction used to take about 45 minutes, but now it'll be over two hours with a stop in Montrose.

The pandemic continues to impact the air travel industry, and that includes the United Airlines flight from Grand Junction to Denver.

Airport officials say the CARES Act gave money to airlines, with the stipulation that they still had to operate normal flights out of airports.

Airlines, of course, are struggling to fill flights, and this was United's solution.

There used to be multiple flights a day, and now there is just one.

"It’s just a temporary patch that the airports and the airlines are doing to get through the pandemic. We still want flights to operate, we just don't have the passenger load-counts to make the flight worthwhile for United," said Director of External Affairs, Joe Burtard.

The airline’s obligations with the CARES Act are until September 30th, but it’s still not clear when the flight pattern will return to normal.

Airport officials said last week, Grand Junction Regional was seeing 85% less passengers than they usually do, and in April it was worse, at 95%.

Denver Air Connection, a small company that flies to Centennial Airport south of Denver, has stopped all operations for now.