By DAN HEATH
PLATTSBURGH — PenAir was welcomed to Plattsburgh International Airport Monday afternoon, especially with news that it would create local jobs.
The airline is scheduled to start service between Plattsburgh and Logan International Airport in Boston on June 15.
"We're very excited to be here," said PenAir Chief Operating Officer Dave Hall.
EAST COAST BASE
He said Plattsburgh will be the airline's base of operations for the East Coast, with 16 employees here to start.
The three planes it uses for service from Boston to Plattsburgh and from Bar Harbor to Presque Isle in Maine will be stored and maintained in leased hangar space at Plattsburgh International.
PenAir will initially offer 12 round-trip flights a week to and from Plattsburgh: two each weekday and one each on Saturday and Sunday. That is expected to increase to 18 flights a week on Oct. 10.
LINKS TO AIRLINES
PenAir has inter-line ticket agreements with a number of major airlines, including Delta, U.S. Airways, United and American. That allows passengers to get tickets and bags cleared through to a final destination when they purchase their tickets.
Passengers are allowed one piece of checked baggage free, with a charge of $25 for a second bag and $50 for a third.
The airline will use 34-seat Saab aircraft with pressurized cabins, flight attendant service and a restroom. That is similar to the aircraft used by Colgan Air, which has provided Essential Air Service between Plattsburgh and Boston since June 2010. Colgan's parent company, Pinnacle Airlines, decided to exit the Boston market last fall but was required to continue to provide flights until a new airline started that service.
A PLACE TO GROW
Hall said the U.S. Department of Transportation approached PenAir about taking over those routes because operations at the two airlines were similar. He said the company studied the matter for several months and decided the opportunity to expand in markets without competition was too good to pass up.