Island Air offer gets turned down
Interisland carrier Island Air
has been rejected in one of its bids to operate commuter flights to more than a half-dozen mainland communities.
The airline, which last month announced a bid to take over Essential Air Service routes in Missouri, Arkansas and Nebraska, said yesterday an airport commission recently rejected its proposal for flights servicing Columbia Regional Airport in Missouri.
The decision was based on the carrier's proposed schedule, which the commission said wouldn't get people to Kansas City early enough to make connecting flights, according to outside company spokeswoman BJ Whitman.
The carrier late last month dropped its proposal for McCook, Neb., because of extra airport services required for the company's larger aircraft. It is the airline's first bid for mainland service under the Island Air name.
The bids involve an undisclosed number of 37-seat de Havilland Dash-8s. The privately held carrier operates six of the planes in its Hawaii service, with one of those planes being used part time.
The remaining routes for which Island Air still has bids are: Grand Island, Neb.; Harrison and Hot Springs, Ark.; Jefferson City, Joplin and Kirskville, Mo. The airline has no plans for other bids, Whitman said.
The routes are part of the Essential Air Service, a federal program designed to guarantee commercial service to small communities. The hub for the outlying communities under the bid is the Kansas City International Airport.
On Jan. 22, Mesa Air Group's Air Midwest filed 90-day notices with the U.S. Department of Transportation of its intent to stop subsidized service to the towns covered by the EAS. A request for proposals was issued Feb. 1 by the DOT with a deadline of Feb. 29, from which communities would submit their final comments.