CommutAir pulling out of local market

SARANAC LAKE Local airline commuter, CommutAir, announced that it filed an application for termination of Essential Air Services (EAS) to the Adirondack Regional Airport, effective in 90 to 120 days. The Continental Airlines affiliate, which has been based in Plattsburgh for the past 18 years serving the Saranac Lake, Plattsburgh and Rutland, Vt., areas, is retiring its fleet of Beech 1900D as it takes delivery of larger aircrafts which are not suited for the regions market, said Joel T. Raymond, vice president of marketing and planning at CommutAir in a press release. The Chambers Airport Marketing Committee, which was key in bringing awareness of CommutAirs reduced fair promotion in early 2007, is working with local and regional partners on bringing adequate commercial air service to the Adirondack Regional Airport after CommutAirs departure. Thanks to the marketing promotion we conducted earlier this year, we know that we increased passenger ridership by 40 percent in January and 75 percent in February over the same period last year, said Chamber Executive Director Sylvie Nelson. We can now use this data when attracting airlines. CommutAir services are made possible thanks to an EAS, a federal subsidy program that ensures rural communities have access to air services. The filing of termination of EAS by CommutAir will set into motion the process of re-bidding for air services in all three communities and CommutAir will be obligated to continue current service until such time a new carrier is selected. The Town of Harrietstown, which owns and manages the Adirondack Regional Airport, is working with the Chamber to ensure a continuity of services The good news about this announcement is that we have a system of networking in place and that will help us solve this challenge, said Chris Kreig of the Adirondack Regional Airport . We are working in partnership with the Tri-Lakes and Plattsburgh on this issue.

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