Just eight months after PenAir took the reigns as Scottsbluff’s Essential Air Service Provider, the Airport Authority Board is already looking to find a new carrier for travel to and from Denver.
The Western Nebraska Airport Authority Board voted today to send a letter to the Department of Transportation to begin requesting proposals from airlines to become Scottsbluff’s new Essential Air Service provider.
Airport Board Chair Don Overman told KNEB News the number of cancelled flights, and their new, reduced flight schedule is just not conducive for local business people to get to Denver for their travel needs.
“PenAir had great ideas and wanted to provide good service, but as it worked out, they’re was unable to do so,” explains Overman. “They’ve lost all credibility with our flying public, and we feel its gotten to the point that even with them coming to visit with us last month…they could not offer us any light at the end of the tunnel.”
Overman says between January 1 and May 18 of this year, PenAir had cancelled 134 flights out of the Scottsbluff airport, and another 94 flights were delayed. Comparatively, Kearney only had 71 cancellations and North Platte had 74.
Last month, PenAir officials cited a pilot shortage for their woes, and says they cannot compete with the major airlines and the salaries they offer pilots.