SeaPort Airlines (Portland, Oregon) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to start an alternate service pattern for air service from Great Bend, Kansas. The new service will replace current scheduled service to Wichita Mid-Continent Airport with nonstop service to Kansas City International Airport. This service pattern will be implemented on Sunday, November 9, and will include two daily round trip flights Monday – Friday, and one round trip flight on both Saturday and Sunday.
Kansas City International Airport currently offers flights to 43 nonstop destinations operated by 11 airlines. The new nonstop service to Kansas City International will also connect with Alaska Airlines flights out of Kansas City to Seattle/Tacoma and beyond, which can be booked as a single itinerary under the SeaPort Airlines interline and e-ticketing agreement with Alaska Airlines by December 1.
The route will be operated with Cessna 208B Grand Caravans.
Copyright Photo: SeaPort Airlines. The pilots of the airline supported National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
SeaPort Airlines (Portland, OR) will replace Silver Airways at Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The Northwest Alabama Regional Airport has accepted a bid from SeaPort Airlines to fly from the airport according to WAAY TV.
Silver Airways announced in April it was leaving the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport. SeaPort will offer four flights a day to Nashville.
In other news, SeaPort has also made a bid to serve to Tupelo, MS, another airport being abandoned by Silver Airways. The airline has been recommended to replace Silver.
Previously SeaPort Airlines began service on June 16, 2014 from Great Bend, Kansas (Great Bend Municipal Airport) to Wichita (Wichita Mid-Continent Airport) and Kansas City (Kansas City International Airport). The carrier was recently awarded the Essential Air Service (EAS) contract to provide service at Great Bend by the United States Department of Transportation, replacing Great Lakes Aviation.
However SeaPort is expected to drop EAS service to Athens, GA, Jackson, TN, and El Centro, CA after an audit by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) under the new EAS rules set by Congress.
Copyright Photo: SeaPort Airlines.
The expanding and now spread-out route map of SeaPort Airlines:
Great Lakes Airlines (Cheyenne) has announced it will end Essential Air Service (EAS) passenger service a month early at Great Bend, Kansas on April 1. The struggling regional carrier will also end passenger flights at Dickinson, North Dakota on March 26 after 21 years. Williston, North Dakota will be dropped on March 30. Great Lakes will also suspend operations at McCook, Nebraska on April 1. The airline is blaming a pilot shortage but critics state the company does pay enough to attract enough pilots.
SeaPort Airlines has bid on the routes with the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Great Lakes has received permission to operate some of their Beech 1900Ds with only 9 seats (please see the seating diagram below) rather than the normal 19 seats so the aircraft can be operated under Part 135 regulations. This allows the company to hire First Officers who have less the 1500 hours FAA requirement. The aircraft still have a captain with at least 1500 hours of experience with an ATP rating. Even with this measure, the airline was not able to stave off the termination of service to these affected cities.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Beech (Raytheon) 1900D N201GL (msn UE-201) with a promotional Pierre, South Dakota image on the tail arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The shrinking Great Lakes Route Map (routes shown as of February 1):