Sun Country Flight to Vegas provides more convenience to Northwest North Dakota

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Sun County plane(KFYR)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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WILLISTON, N.D. -  When the Williston Basin International Airport was built, city officials hoped it would bring more flight options to Williston. Now a year and a half later, XWA is featuring a direct flight to Las Vegas.

If you live in the region, your previous options for flying to Las Vegas came down to taking multiple flights through Williston’s primary carriers or driving over an hour to Minot or Billings.

Now with Sun Country Airlines, travel to one of the entertainment capitals of the world is much more convenient.

“I already have tickets to an event in Vegas in October, so scheduling a flight in October is now more likely to be done with Sun Country coming in than it will be any other carrier,” said Williston resident Greg Cottrell.

Starting in September, passengers will see flights to and from Vegas on Thursdays and Sundays.

Sun Country’s goal with this new route is to provide travelers in Northwestern North Dakota a convenient and cost-effective vacation under the sun.

“When you live in North Dakota year-round, it’s dark and it’s cold and we want to get people out to these fun places and give them these awesome experiences,” said Erin Blanton, communications manager for Sun Country.

Sun Country’s planes will be able to seat 183 passengers. Having aircraft that large was impossible for Williston before the creation of XWA, and with things slowly returning to normal from the pandemic, Sun Country offers a desirable offer for passengers.

“I know the flights are going to be Thursday and Sunday. That may play a little bit of the factor of a decision, but honestly, having it direct is much more enticing,” said Cottrell.

Officials say they have been working hard to bring in a low-cost carrier not only for the people of Williston but also for residents in eastern Montana and even people in Southern Saskatchewan.

“We want to make sure that this is the first step of letting people choose to fly out of XWA rather than being forced to travel elsewhere to get the service that they deserve or that they need that fits their needs,” said Airport Director Anthony Dudas.

Between this announcement and the return of Delta over the weekend, Dudas says XWA is starting to get back to where they were before the pandemic and are now moving towards a bigger and brighter future.

The first flight out of XWA to Las Vegas will be on September 2 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are now available online at

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