ELIZABETHTOWN — Representatives from an airline that may start a commuter service at the local airport visited town earlier this month. That brings to four the number of carriers considering flying jets out of Elizabethtown Regional Airport.
Article originally posted by The (Elizabethtown) News-Enterprise directed to: http://www.thenewsenterprise.com/content/four-carriers-show-interest-local-airport
Four carriers show interest in local airport
By John Friedlein
Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm
By JOHN FRIEDLEIN
ELIZABETHTOWN — Representatives from an airline that may start a commuter service at the local airport visited town earlier this month.
That brings to four the number of carriers considering flying jets out of Elizabethtown Regional Airport.
Senior managers of the most recent company to become involved are “very interested in the marketplace,” Airport Board consultant Luke B. Schmidt said. Because of ongoing negotiations, he would not name the carriers that may restart commuter service here.
An initiative to build a Partnership for Central Kentucky Airline Service Travel Bank — for potential passengers who pledge money up-front for tickets — has been put on hold while airport representatives work with the latest carrier, Schmidt said.
“We’ve had a good response to the travel bank so far,” he said. The initiative would reward an airline with guaranteed revenue.
This has been a tough time for recruitment. Carriers during the past year and a half have tended to cut back instead of expand. They have been faced with challenges such as a poor economy and high fuel prices, Schmidt said.
Earlier this month an airline announced it is pulling out of Somerset because a federal subsidy is coming to an end.
Local airport promoters want to bring in a regional airline that is associated with a large carrier and will serve a major hub.
Elizabethtown had commuter flights in the ‘80s.
Bowling Green, which also is seeking a commuter service, last week found out it won a $500,000 grant from the competitive Small Community Air Service Development Program.
Elizabethtown has applied for the grant before but did not receive it. Schmidt said this is a subsidy to offset operating costs. With the travel bank, on the other hand, the money comes from customers who will pay for the service and fill a commuter jet’s seats.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746