Two bids received for Cape air service

Monday, January 14, 2008

Two companies promising $75 one-way fares to St. Louis made bids to take over passenger air service out of Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, said Bruce Loy, manager of the airport.

Great Lakes Airlines, a Cheyenne, Wyo.,-based carrier, is offering to make 19 round-trip flights each week with options for destinations in St. Louis, Kansas City or Cincinnati, Ohio. Great Lakes plans to fly the same kind of 19-seat turboprop airplanes used by Big Sky Airlines, Loy said. Big Sky, the previous carrier, stopped serving Cape Girardeau on Jan. 7 after six weeks of service.

Air Choice One, which lists a Festus, Mo., business address on its filings with the Missouri Secretary of State, would fly nine-seat Cessna aircraft, Loy said.

Both airlines are also proposing to take over the service from airports in Jackson, Tenn., and Owensboro, Ky.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is asking all three cities to make a recommendation by Friday, Loy said. The Cape Girardeau Airport Advisory Board has a meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Drop Zone restaurant at the airport to discuss the bids.

Great Lakes is asking for a $4.5 million subsidy to provide service to the three airports. In addition, Loy said Great Lakes's bid indicates it is unwilling to provide service to the other two cities if it is denied the Cape Girardeau contract.

Air Choice One in 2005 received a grant of $936,404 to provide daily scheduled flights from Poplar Bluff to St. Louis via Farmington, Mo.

For more information, check back at www.semissourian.com or read Tuesdays's Southeast Missourian.


View the bids (PDF documents):

Great Lakes Airlines

Air Choice One

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