Talks Continue with New Potential Carriers at Pangborn
Even as passenger service to and from Seattle on Horizon Air has slipped to just one incoming and outgoing flight per day at Pangborn Memorial, efforts are ongoing to add new carriers serving different destinations through the airport.
The Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority, who operates the airport, reportedly meets with as many as a half-dozen airlines every six to eight weeks in an attempt to woo at least one of them to add Pangborn to their routes.
Managing Partner of Volaire Aviation, Jack Penning, says the Port has an incentive package already in place for any carrier who becomes the first to serve the San Francisco Bay area out of Pangborn.
“We have about $1.1 million available right now for any carrier willing to service the San Francisco Bay area. That helps in deferring the risk for any airline coming in. It’s a two-year program. The challenge continues to be that most of the airlines we’ve targeted are facing the same pilot shortage that most of the industry is.”
Despite the current industry-wide pilot shortage, Penning says there are several carriers who are seriously considering adding Wenatchee to their routes for service.
“I think it’s most likely going to be in the low-cost sector that we'll see service added at Pangborn. Airlines such as Avelo, Allegiant, and Breeze. These carriers don’t have many of the same challenges the larger carriers and their subsidiaries do. They all fly great big 737s with up to 189 passengers, but they don’t fly every single day. That’s where we continue to see the greatest willingness to listen to our pitch.”
Penning adds that San Francisco isn’t the only city being considered for service through Pangborn. He says Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Denver have all been a part of the airport’s conversations with potentially-new carriers.