Ryan Burns / Monday, Aug. 7 @ 10:05 a.m. / Airport
Gone From Humboldt, PenAir Declares Bankruptcy and Looks to End Service in Crescent City
PREVIOUSLY: PenAir Will Fly the Humboldt Skies No More
More bad news for local air travelers. Last week regional air carrier PenAir announced it would no longer serve Humboldt County, bailing on us less than 16 months after they arrived on our overcast shores. Today comes news that PenAir is declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy and asking the federal Department of Transportation for permission to cut service to and from Crescent City, too.
Savvy local travelers sometimes chose to fly in and out of Crescent City because a) flights were usually cheaper from there and b) parking at that airport is free. Why were flights cheaper up there? Because Crescent City is designated an Essential Air Service by the feds, meaning the airport gets subsidies from the Department of Transportation.
That designation also means PenAir must get clearance before cutting off Crescent City, and in a press release issued today the air carrier announced that it’s doing just that.
Press release from PenAir:
Alaska-based PenAir has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization with the state of Alaska. This action will not affect scheduled air service operations in Alaska or Boston. PenAir’s Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado hubs will begin the process of closing scheduled service over the next 90 days.
“The steps we are taking today will allow PenAir to emerge as a stronger airline, while continuing our focus on safe operations,” said PenAir CEO and Chairman Danny Seybert. “We will be working with a restructuring officer to present a reorganization plan that will allow the management team to focus on our employees, safe operations, retiring debt and taking care of our customers.”
PenAir recently announced the termination of the Portland-area regional routes as part of an immediate cost-cutting plan in the Pacific Northwest. All, but the essential Air Service (EAS) route between Portland and Crescent City, California, will be shut down effective close of business on Monday, August 7. This impacts scheduled flight operations between Portland and Klamath Falls and North Bend/Coos Bay, Oregon and Redding and Eureka/Arcata, California.
Today, PenAir announced the additional closing the Denver hub pending approval from the Department of Transportation.
PenAir is filing a request with the DOT to end EAS routes between Crescent City, CA and Portland and all regional routes served from its Denver hub. This will impact EAS routes operating between Denver and Liberal and Dodge City, Kansas and North Platt, Kearney and Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Once approved, this transition usually takes 30 to 90 days until a new carrier can be secured in the market.
PenAir serves eight destinations within Alaska, including Dutch Harbor, Cold Bay, Sand Point, King Salmon, Dillingham, St. Paul, St. George and McGrath; and three routes in the Boston area including Bar Harbor and Presque Isle, Maine and Plattsburgh, New York. Passengers in both the Alaska and Boston markets can expect continued operations with no changes to scheduled flight service. Employees in these markets will play a critical role in the reorganization process.
“Our employees are a key part of our success, and we are doing everything we can to keep our PenAir family intact,” said Seybert.
Passengers scheduled to fly out of the Portland market may contact the airline their travel was originally booked on, or PenAir at 800-448-4226.
About PenAir – PenAir was founded in 1955 by Orin Seybert in Pilot Point, Alaska. It is one of the oldest family-owned airlines in the United States. The airline is also one of the largest regional airlines in Alaska and the Northeast U.S., and one of the largest operators of Saab 340 aircraft in the US. System-wide, PenAir has 700 employees and serves 25 destinations.