For the first time since 2008, the first direct flight on the new route from Helena to Billings set off amidst an early-morning celebration that included Mayor Jim Smith, who said that the economic activity in the Brakken oil fields and Billings to the northeast are of economic importance to Helena. Mayor Smith stressed that there is nothing more important right now than establishing the connection between Helena and Billings.
Silver Airways is servicing the route and Helena is the ninth point for the airline. Silver already provides service between Billings and small communities in eastern Montana thanks to the subsidies received through the federal Essential Air Service program. However, the flights to Helena are not part of the subsidy program. There are two flights each weekday that will fly out of Helena for Billings, one departing at 8:20 am and the other departing at 3:30 pm.
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