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(Neb)-Chadron, Alliance Recommend Boutique Air For EAS Contract

By: John Axtell Posted at: 03/07/2017 07:23 PM
CHADRON - Chadron and Alliance have recommended that the federal Department of Transportation again select Boutique Air for the Essential Air Service contract on the route linking them with Denver. Boutique’s current 2-year contract expires June 1st.

      The Alliance City Council approved its recommendation for Boutique over Great Lakes Airlines last night while City Manager Wayne Anderson, acting as the airport manager, made the recommendation for Chadron. He expects a decision from the DOT around the end of the month or early April.

       Anderson says Chadron and Alliance recently brought back the same airport consultant they used two years ago to get multiple airlines to compete for the contract against Great Lakes, which had held the EAS subsidy for 2 decades.

       Anderson says Boutique's new bid, just as its successful bid was 2 years ago, is much higher than that of Great Lakes but also like 2 years ago is much stronger with more service on a airline that's proven to be much more reliable.

       Boutique has yet to have a flight cancellation for Chadron that was not weather-related, and both Anderson and interim Alliance City Manager Rick Kuckkahn say boardings in their towns are up sharply since Boutique took over.

       Kuckkahn says the airline has proven it has "overall reliability," a key factor given the tight schedules for northern Panhandle travelers to make connecting flights out of Denver.

      Boutique has 3 daily round trips Monday-Friday for Chadron and Alliance plus one daily Chadron-Denver roundtrip that doesn't connect with Alliance.

      Both have 2 outbound and 1 return flight on Saturdays while the Sunday schedule has 2 round trips from both cities as well as a late flight to Chadron that that leaves Denver at 9:00 PM.


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