If the proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines is approved, Bangor International Airport could lose the US Airways direct service to Washington’s Reagan National. The US Department of Justice is investigating whether or not US Airways will have to surrender some slots at National due to antitrust regulations.
Bangor International Airport Director Tony Caruso told the Bangor Daily News on Thursday “Originally when the merger was discussed we didn’t have any concerns, but as talk of slot divestiture started to happen it certainly increased the risk of the small and medium size cities losing or reducing service. It does remain a risk to us.”
US Airways has three round trip flights from BIA to DCA that began in March of 2012. Caruso also went onto say the the route has done well for US Airways as well as BIA. Service is on 50 passenger Bombardier CRJ 200s and have been averaging between 80 and 90 percent capacity.
Representative Mike Michaud and Senator Angus King are trying to convince Ray LaHood, US Department of Transportation Secretary that forcing the airlines to surrender their slots at DCA would hurt the smaller local economies served by the routes.
Meanwhile at Portland Jetport, there isn’t the urgency as in Bangor with daily flights to DCA on United and US Airways as well as service from Southwest to Baltimore Washington International Airport.
There were talks to lure United Airlines to Bangor but nothing has come up since. Should BGR be able to lure them in that could open up routes to Newark, Dulles as well as mid west hub Chicago O’Hare. Until the economy and ridership comes back we can forget about Southwest and/or JetBlue coming to Bangor.
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