Lander, WY – One of the most common concerns students have about coming to Wyoming Catholic College is how far away it is from everything. Of course, that’s also one of the benefits of WCC, but “for some, it’s still a sticking point,” school executive vice president Saul H. Ciwoknot said. “Thus while not physically moving Wyoming anywhere else than the beautiful place it is now, we’re going to make it closer for people who want it to be that way. The solution? Simple. Starting an airline.
Wyoming Catholic College’s chief financial officer Peter McNow announced the school’s intention today with Ciwoknot to to bring primarily students and visitors, but also “just about anybody else” to Lander and “make it feel less isolated.” Headquartered at Lander’s Hunt Field with three planes secured through various of McNow’s business connections, the new carrier will launch service at the beginning of the spring semester with initial service bringing all the freshmen and their leaders back to Lander from Denver for the school’s Winter Trip. “Services will grow from there,” McNow comments, “with service from Lander direct to cities across the county where there are a lot of students.”
Many school graduates have already been signed on to work for the new airline the same day its creation was announced, currently being tentatively named Wyoming Catholic Air, but students can work in various ways as well, with about two dozen new work study positions opened up in everything from fuel and maintenance on the ground to even some students potentially being allowed to be flight attendants on the weekends on short-haul services.
Unlike other airlines, knives will be allowed on board, because “students are never without the tools they need to survive” Saul added, “and we’re looking into serving Crux Coffee and donuts on board on all services, as well as potentially even meals, which will “track and follow the Frassati Hall schedule during the school year.”
Asked if there was enough demand to start a whole airline out of the incredibly small town of Lander, Peter McNow says “tourism will increase ten-fold in Lander and fill any planes we fly whenever students aren’t going anywhere. Lander’s a beautiful spot and we could probably even convince a bunch of people from around the country to try Wyoming Catholic Air. You know all those students have families, and if they want to go somewhere and even if they’re not coming to Lander, they could come through Lander to get to wherever they’re going.”
The first service beyond Denver will be flights to New Hampshire, where the school’s largest family, the Milligans, hail from, followed by services to Michigan, Texas, California, and Arizona.
Students will get some sort of discount for using the new airline, which is expected to eliminate the school’s chartering of buses at the beginning and end of each semester to take students to and from Denver to WCC, but details on pricing, branding, and financing are yet to be determined, with McNow saying that starting an airline “is an expensive investment but one that will certainly pay off for WCC Inc.”
“We may even get to start a second Crux Coffee location at the airport if it gets busy enough.” Ciwoknot comments. “There are all sorts of options that this new venture will get us towards, successful ones,” he emphazized.