Alaska-based PenAir has announced, effective September 11, 2017, they will cease all operations out of their Denver based hub.
Affected communities are: Liberal and Dodge City, Kansas, and
Scottsbluff, Kearney and North Platte, Nebraska.
According to CEO Danny Seybert, “The cessation of service is due to extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances beyond our control and beyond our ability to resolve – the precipitous massive loss
of Saab-340 pilots and PenAir’s inability to replace them. As a result of our pilot resignations(totaling 17 pilot departures to date), it will be physically impossible for PenAir to continue to operate the Nebraska/Kansas flights beyond September 10. Our last fights to all communities out of our Denver base will be September 10, 2017.”
PenAir had evaluated whether it could operate a reduced service (one daily flight at the Kansas/Nebraska communities), and has determined that it could not do so without negatively impacting crews further from other PenAir EAS flights, which would adversely impact other PenAir EAS services at other communities and run the risk of more pilot departures, causing a further downward spiral.
PenAir is unable to transfer Saab-340 pilots from their Alaska or Boston hubs to Denver.
“Alaska pilots won’t move because they love the Alaska lifestyle and the fact that they are home every night with their families. Additionally, Boston needs every available pilot to maintain
current EAS at the communities served in and out of that hub. We are doing everything we can to enhance pilot retention however this is an industry wide challenge effecting all carriers including
the majors.” says Seybert.
PenAir has been a dedicated and reliable EAS provider and an active participant in the EAS program since the 1980s. From their first EAS route until this week, PenAir had built a solid record of providing reliable service that earned it strong support from their EAS communities. However, after petitioning for Chapter 11 protection, PenAir has experienced massive unanticipated pilot resignations.
These extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances, which were beyond PenAir’s control and ability to resolve, are the main cause of PenAir’s decision to cease the Nebraska/Kansas flights after September 10, 2017.
Passengers scheduled to fly out of the Denver market may contact the airline their travel was originally booked on, or PenAir at 800-448-4226.
The company anticipates high call volumes during this time and will proactively, begin calling customers with travel dates of September 11 forward.
Passengers may also contact the company’s reservations department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org