Posts Tagged ‘Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport’

Report Says Air Travelers Favoring Hopkins

June 8, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to air travel including a preference by Northeast Ohio air travelers to use Cleveland Hopkins Airport rather than Akron-Canton Airport, a report by WOIO-TV said.

The report attributed that trend to, in part, lack of air travel options at CAK.

Some air service that was lost at Akron-Canton during the pandemic has yet to return.

This includes Delta Air Line service to Atlanta, United Express flights to Houston, and American Eagle flights to New York LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare airports.

United Express last spring ceased flying from CAK to Washington Dulles and Spirit Airlines is suspending service to Akron-Canton this month until November.

Some of those losses have been offset by such gains as Breeze Airways coming to Akron-Canton a year ago and Allegiant Air returning last March.

Both of those carriers offer low fare but less than daily flights to leisure travel destinations, many of which are in Florida.

Of course even before the pandemic Hopkins was by far the dominant airport in Northeast Ohio with 78 percent of the business.

The WOIO report did not say what percentage of the market Hopkins has now, writing only that, “a big chunk of travelers who once chose to fly out of Akron-Canton and other smaller airports in the area are now coming to Cleveland.”

At one time Youngstown had commercial flights but those ended in January 2018. Scheduled air service at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport also ended during the pandemic and has not yet returned.

Cleveland’s Director of port control Robert Kennedy, who also serves as the director of Hopkins, said traffic at Hopkins is almost back to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

During the summer travel season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Hopkins expects to handle 2.8 million travelers. Last summer it saw 2.3 million travelers during the summer travel season.

Kennedy expects some increases in flights at both Hopkins and Akron-Canton once airlines and the Transportation Security Administration are able to hire additional workers.

As for more travelers seeming to prefer flying out of Hopkins, Kennedy said, that market has shifted and is “responding well to the flights and the carriers and the destinations” that Hopkins has.

“As soon as the resource issue is resolved we think we’ll see more flights,” Kennedy said.

JobsOhio To Fund Quest for New Airline Service

February 15, 2020

An Ohio economic develop agency is earmarking $4 million to help the state’s larger airports attract more airline service.

JobsOhio said the money can be used to attract new flights to unserved or underserved markets, including, transatlantic service from Cleveland and Columbus.

Officials said the funds could also benefit the Akron-Canton Airport, which has seen a decline in service in recent years and the Youngstown-Warren Airport, which lost commercial airline service in early 2018.

Ohio airports have been lobbying the Ohio legislature without success in recent years to create a fund to help attract new air service.

They have said Cleveland and Columbus are at a disadvantage compared with Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, which have used public funding to attract service to Europe.

Pittsburgh used $4 million in public funding to lure British Airways into creating a route to London while Indianapolis landed a Delta Air Lines route to Paris with the help of $5.5 million.

Cleveland Hopkins Airport officials say they believe they have lost out on some service opportunities because they lack funding to entice a carrier to launch new service.

Federal law prohibits direct funding of air service, but airports can waive certain fees, provide revenue guarantees and use public money to help airlines pay marketing costs.

Speaking to the City Club of Cleveland, J.P. Nauseef, president and chief investment officer of JobsOhio, said buying airline service is an economic development issue.

Nauseef said he’s heard business leaders throughout the state say, “If we had better air service, we could attract more people. If we had better air service, we could bring another division here. If we had better air service, Ohio would stay on the list with Texas and Florida for business growth.”

Nauseef said details about how the air service fund will operate are still being written, but there is likely to be some local matching funds requirement, including support from the business community.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership offered an undisclosed amount of financial assistance to Wow Air, which flew for six months in 2018 between Cleveland and Reykjavik, Iceland.

That same year Icelandair also provided service on the same route.

Wow Air is now out of business and Icelandair decided not to continue its service to Cleveland into 2019.

Cleveland and Columbus were said by JobsOhio to be two of the largest air travel markets to be without non-stop airline service to Europe.

JobsOhio is a private, nonprofit economic development group that is funded primarily through revenue from liquor sales in the state.

Airports Face Hard Fight to Regain Traffic

July 2, 2018

Akron-Canton Airport and Dayton International Airport have much in common.

Both serve medium-size urban areas that sit in the shadow of a much larger metropolis that hosts an airport with far more airline service.

Both have within the past year lost service from Southwest Airlines and other carriers and are struggling to attract new routes.

Both had a small measure of success last month when United Airlines began flying from both to Houston, using a United Express branded regional partner.

Each airport has daily flights to many top business centers in the eastern United States and the hub airports of the major airlines.

However, Dayton has more non-stop flights to western destinations including Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The respective airports have a limited number of flights to Florida with Allegiant providing those at Dayton and Spirit connecting the Sunshine State with Akron-Canton.

And each has other distant airports draining away passenger traffic, which makes the challenge of landing new service even more difficult.

In the case of Dayton that is John Glenn Columbus International Airport while for Akron-Canton it is Pittsburgh International Airport and Columbus.

Officials at both airports can also look back a few years and see glory days that have come and gone.

Dayton in July 1982 became the Midwest hub airport for Piedmont Airlines, a former local service carrier with most of its routes in the Southeast. That hub continued in operation after USAir took over Piedmont in August 1985.

But USAir reduced long-distance flights from Dayton in 1990 and closed the hub in January 1992, reducing the number of flights from 73 to 20.

Akron-Canton has never served as a hub for any airline but saw its passenger traffic double between 2000 and 2006 when low-fare carriers AirTran and Frontier added flights to several destinations.

But Frontier eventually left Akron-Canton for nearby Cleveland Hopkins Interntional Airport and Southwest, which acquired AirTran, eventually discontinuing most of the former AirTran routes and ended service altogether to CAK in June 2017.

That same year Allegiant Air pulled out of Akron-Canton in favor of Cleveland.

As tough as it might be for Akron-Canton and Dayton, they are better situated than airports serving Toledo and Youngstown.

Youngstown-Warren Airport lost its only scheduled airline service in January when Allegiant pulled out.

Toledo Express Airport lives in the considerable shadow of Detroit Metropolitan Airport which as a hub for Delta Airline offers flights to all corners of North American and to European, South American and Asian destinations.

Toledo has daily service to Chicago and Charlotte, North Carolina, by American Airlines regional partner American Eagle. Allegiant also flies from Toledo, although not daily.

Although airport officials at Akron-Canton and Dayton speak optimistically about airline growth, many see it differently and think any growth will be incremental.

That message was hammered home recently in Dayton when Fitch Ratings downgraded from BBB+ to BBB the bond ratings for the Dayton Airport, the first time in a decade that has occurred.

That means it may cost the airport more to issue bonds for airport improvements.

But it also reflects a concern by analysts about Dayton’s ability to manage costs, meaningfully grow its customer base and compete with larger nearby airports.

At the same time, Fitch changed its rating outlook for the airport to stable. It had been negative since late 2016.

Airline traffic at Dayton continues to slide just as it has at Akron-Canton in the past year.

Passenger boardings at Dayton fell 8 percent in 2017 to 950,620. Overall traffic has fallen by 24 percent since 2009.

Airport officials attribute much of the decline to the loss of Southwest service.

Dayton’s director of aviation, Terry Slaybaugh, believes the key to building traffic is to focus on meeting demand for business trips because unlike leisure passengers, business travelers are less willing to drive significant distances to catch a flight.

Dayton has ramped up its marking to the business community.

Paul Lewis, vice president of policy at the Eno Center for Transportation in Washington said that a city as large as Dayton will always have demand for flights to such major markets as New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas,

But Lewis said industry consolidation has led to fewer airlines, which reduces the need for as many airline hubs, particularly in smaller markets.

There was a time when airports such as Dayton and Akron-Canton could count on attracting large number of leisure travelers because of the flights they offered by low-fare airlines such as Frontier, Allegiant and Spirit.

Akron-Canton capitalized on that with the marketing slogan “a better way to go.”

For a time, fares from Cleveland tended to be higher because it was a hub for Continental Airlines and, later, United.

But after United closed the hub in 2014, the low-fare carriers began expanding in Cleveland in droves, which reflected a trend of low-fare carriers forsaking medium-size cities for larger cities.

Akron-Canton and Youngstown have seen those carriers sharply increase service from Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Leisure air service also has taken off at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and from Columbus.

Slaybaugh said Dayton is working with its existing carriers to increase flights and bring in larger aircraft providing first class, business and economy service.

In the meantime, both Dayton and Akron-Canton have given their terminals and parking lots a face lift in an effort to provide more passenger convenience.

But fares and availability of flight options still drive traffic.

“If you buy a legacy ticket, we’re usually cheaper,” Slaybaugh said. “That’s something that still drives traffic. But now with some of the service changes, we know people are leaving.”

Whereas once Cincinnati had some of the highest average airfares in the country, it now has some of the lowest.

That has come during a time when air fares on average increased in Dayton to the point where they are larger than those at Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Akron-Canton.

As Ohio’s medium size airports battle to win back some of the traffic they once had, they also find themselves with more space than they need for the passengers they have.

Some parking lots at Akron-Canton have been closed, but have found a new use.

Kane Logistics, which provides warehousing, distribution and freight services for a number of companies, is temporarily using the lots to store trailers.

Youngstown Airline Search Gaining Altitude

March 31, 2018

Discussions to land commercial air service at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport have heated up within the past month.

Airport officials are apparently considering an offer from an Atlanta company to provide service to such points as Sanford/Orlando and Tampa in Florida; Tunica, Mississippi; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The proposal was made by Ashley Air and Travel, which airport director Dan Dickten described as a broker that contracts for air service provided by such carriers as Elite Airways.

Elite has proposed providing its own service from Youngstown to Newark, New Jersey.

John Ashley, a senior partner with Ashley Air, said his company would like to begin the service by June 1.

It would be an unusual arrangement in that passengers would be expected to pay a $599 membership fee that would entitle them to fly anytime for $39 per flight.

The service would be provided with 50- and 70-passenger regional jets and operate twice a day four days a week.

This is not the first time that Ashley has pitched flights to Youngstown-Warren airport. He said that since April 2016 he has proposed flights to Las Vegas and Tunica.

The membership model would work so long as Ashley can draw 10,000 to 15,000 people a year.

Ashley noted that Allegiant Air, which stopped flying to Youngstown in early January, averaged about 60,000 passengers per month.

Allegiant was the last carrier to offer scheduled airline service to Youngstown. The airport continues to see periodic charter flights.

Airport officials recently traveled to the Volaire Air Service Forum in Myrtle Beach to try to interest air carriers in providing service to Youngstown.

“We have several potential options to identify renewed service,” Dickten said. “We will elaborate on that at a later time.”

Passenger traffic at Youngstown-Warren has dropped dramatically since Allegiant ceased flying there. In February it handled 438 boardings and 440 deplanements, but most of that was accounted for by the Hubbard band flying to Orlando.

By contrast, in May 2017 the airport handled 6,453 passengers.

The airport recently settled a lawsuit that it launched against Aerodynamics Inc. stemming from its ending of air service between Youngstown and Chicago in 2016 just weeks after it began.

The airport was seeking to recover $361,714 it paid to Aerodynamics as a revenue guarantee when the service began.

ADI filed a counterclaim, demanding the $294,221 it claimed it was owed for its subsidy for the final month of the service.

The parties agreed to dismiss all claims and the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the airport, agreed to pay $150,000 to ADI.

Last Allegiant Youngstown Flight Leaves Today

January 4, 2018

Allegiant Air will fly from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport today for the final time.

The low fare carrier has cited low boardings for ending flights from Youngstown.

The last Allegiant flight is expected to lift off at 5:37 p.m. en route to Clearwater International Airport in Florida.

Allegiant, which began flying into the Youngstown-Warren airport in 2006, is the last carrier to provide scheduled service there.

However, airport officials have said they are talking with other potential carriers about providing flights.

Officials of one of those carriers, Southern Airways Express, attended a public forum last month to gauge interest in providing service to Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Detroit’s Coleman A. Young International Airport.

Dan Dickten, director of aviation for the Western Reserve Port Authority, which runs the Youngstown airport, has also talked with SkyWest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines about serving Youngstown.

Sun Country has provided charter flights from Youngstown and Dickten said there’s a possibility it may begin low-cost commercial flights similar to those of Allegiant or Spirit Airlines.

“Things like this just don’t happen overnight,” Dickten said. “There will be a break in service before we are able to get a new service in here.”

In the meantime, the airport authority has sued Aerodynamics Inc., which briefly operated scheduled flights between Youngstown and Chicago in summer 2016 before abruptly terminating the service.

ADI, which operated the service under the brand name Great Lakes JetExpress, has countersued the airport.

The trial in those cases is expected to begin next August at the U.S. Courthouse in Youngstown.

Youngstown-Warren Airport Optimistic About Landing New Air Service to Replace Allegiant

December 16, 2017

Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport officials are talking with four airlines about serving the airport, which is poised to lose commercial service next month.

Allegiant plans to end its flights to Youngstown on Jan. 4. Among the carriers that airport officials are meeting with are Sun Country, SkyWest and Southern Airways Express.

Southern has proposed launching routes from Youngstown to Detroit and Baltimore using nine-seat Cessna Caravans 208B turboprop planes.

A public hearing was held earlier this month at the airport to gauge the public interest in the service that Southern has suggested providing.

Founded four years ago, Southern provides service between Pittsburgh and smaller communities in western Pennsylvania, including Altoona and Franklin.

The airline’s chief commercial officer, Mark Cestari, said the carrier is working to form interline agreements with major airlines to boost the attractiveness of its potential service from Youngstown.

Dan Dickten, director of aviation for the Western Reserve Port Authority, which runs the airport, plans to meet with SkyWest Airlines in January to discuss service to Chicago.

SkyWest operates flights under the United Express brand, which feeds passengers to United Airlines.

Youngstown had flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport for a short time in summer 2016 that were provided by Aerodynamics Inc.

Airport officials blamed a lack of an interline agreement to access United’s baggage handling and ticketing network for the failure of ADI’s service.

Dickten said SkyWest wants a revenue guarantee for the flights. The port authority has $500,000 that it could pay to SkyWest.

Dickten has also talked with Sun Country. “They are another ultra-low-cost carrier” that flies many of the same routes as Allegiant, he said.

Youngstown airport officials have also contacted Ultimate Jetcharters, which is based in North Canton and flies 30-passenger aircraft.

Ultimate provides scheduled service from Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport to Cincinnati and Atlanta.

Dickten said discussions with various carriers have turned serious and he expects to see scheduled air service within the next six to eight months from Youngstown.

Allegiant currently offers flights twice weekly from Youngstown to Orlando Sanford and St.  Petersburg/Clearwater airports in Florida. It has cited low demand as its reasons for leaving the Youngstown market.

Akron-Canton, Youngstown Struggle to Attract Air Service in Competition with Cleveland, Pittsburgh

October 14, 2017


An Allegiant Air Airbus 320 lands at Cleveland Hopkins Airport last April. By early next year, Allegiant will have foresaken the Akron-Canton and Youngstown airports.

Shortly after learning that its last scheduled airline would be ending service in early January 2018, officials at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport hired a consultant to assess how the airport could regain commercial service.

The report by Mike Mooney of Voltaire Aviation was not promising. It will be a challenge for Youngstown to regain air service, although not impossible.

His report also carried ominous news for the Akron-Canton Airport, which has seen two airlines decamp to Cleveland in the past five years.

One of CAK’s current carriers, Spirit Airlines, has been posting load factors that are 8 load factor points under the Spirit system load factor for the period of November 2016 to May 2017.

Although Mooney did not draw any conclusions as to what that might mean for CAK, he did say the Akron-Canton and Youngstown airports are losing flights to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport as ultra low cost airlines Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier Airlines increase their presence in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Mooney said the profitability of the ultra low-cost business model has since 2012 changed the Pittsburgh-Youngstown-Akron-Cleveland air service market from a “backwater to full-scale [ultra-low-cost] battleground” with intense pricing competition.

Hopkins Airport today has the highest concentration of flights provided by the low-cost carriers of any non-destination airport in the county.

Mooney told Youngstown officials to be patient in looking for a replacement airline.

At the same time he said with the rising number of flights from Cleveland and Pittsburgh to resort areas of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, it will be difficult for Youngstown to attract another carrier to provide service to those points.

Allegiant now flies from Youngstown to the Orlando-Sanford Airport and to Clearwater International Airport in the Tampa Bay region. None of those flights operate daily.

Allegiant once offered flights from Youngstown to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Punta Gorda, Florida.

John Moliterno, executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority, noted that Allegiant flights from Youngstown have had over 90 percent occupancy.

“We know what the numbers were. We had a very high percent occupancy on those flights. We had a very high percentage occupancy on flights that Allegiant canceled prior,” he said.

“Something has changed how they look at their business model. Something has changed in terms of how they operate and where they want to go,” Moliterno said.

Mooney suggested that the changes include declining load factors in, the loss of a low fare advantage, and decisions by carriers to focus on markets in larger cities that were once dominated by legacy airlines.

The first ultra low-cost carrier to serve the Pittsburgh-Youngstown-Cleveland-Akron region was Allegiant, which began flying into Youngstown in 2006.

Back then, Continental Airlines had a hub in Cleveland and Pittsburgh still has substantial service from USAirways, which had operated a hub there until 2004.

As recently as 2000, USAirways and its regional partners operated more than 500 daily flights from Pittsburgh to more than 110 destinations. By 2007, that had shrunk to 70 flights to 21 destinations.

Hub airports may offer travelers a wide number of non-stop flights to numerous destinations, but they also tend to have higher fares.

When Allegiant landed in Youngstown, the airport had been without commercial air service for more than three years.

At the same time, another low fare carrier, AirTran, was beginning to expand service from Akron-Canton to Florida. AirTran soon became CAK’s busiest carrier and eventually began service to New York and Boston.

Yet another low fare carrier, Frontier, offered flights from CAK to Denver.

Both airports benefited from the low fares offered by Allegiant, Frontier and AirTran. Many travelers from the Cleveland and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas began driving to the Youngstown and Akron-Canton airports to take advantage of them.

In the meantime, USAirways continued to cut flights in Pittsburgh and Continental merged with United Airlines, which in 2014 began phasing out its Cleveland hub. United reduced its 200 flights in Cleveland to 72 serving 20 destinations.

On the heels of these service cuts by the legacy carriers, the low fare carriers saw opportunity.

Frontier bolted from Akron-Canton in 2012 for Hopkins where it has since established a major presence.

AirTran was acquired by Southwest Airlines in 2014 and initially kept most flights out of CAK, flying to Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Orlando, Las Vegas and Tampa-St. Petersburg.

Southwest began pulling back from Akron-Canton in 2015, ending all service except to Atlanta. The last Southwest flight from Akron-Canton left this past June as Southwest deployed planes once serving CAK to new routes from Cleveland and Columbus, among other cities.

As Southwest was cutting service at CAK, Allegiant in May 2015 came into the airport located near Green with flights to Florida and the Southeast. Many of those flights were seasonal and none operated daily.

Then in November 2016, Spirit Airlines began flying to CAK, not long after Allegiant announced it was withdrawing from the airport in favor of service from Cleveland Hopkins to 10 destinations, which was more than the airline ever had from Akron-Canton.

Spirit continues to serve Akron-Canton, but with far fewer flights to fewer destinations than it offers from Hopkins. Spirit’s service from CAK is oriented to Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas.

Airline consultant Mooney told Youngstown officials that their airport has suffered from the changing strategies of the low-cost carriers in the Cleveland-Pittsburgh service market that will make it difficult to attract other carriers.

“Youngstown’s service just got overwhelmed by all three carriers competing with each other at Cleveland and Pittsburgh,” Mooney said.

This competition also has affected Akron-Canton although it continues to have a moderate level of service, much of it provided by regional carriers operating under the brand names of legacy carriers United, American and Delta.

This includes service to New York, Newark, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Delta operates three non-stop flights daily between CAK and Atlanta using MD88 mainline jets. All other flights use regional jet equipment.

Youngstown, though, has not enjoyed the level of service that Akron-Canton has had.

Aside from service by Allegiant, Youngstown is served by periodic public charters oriented to trips to casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and in Mississippi.

A service between Youngstown and Chicago O’Hare International Airport by Aerodynamics Inc. began July 1, 2016, but ended in late August of that year.

Mooney said neither Youngstown or Akron-Canton can draw on the nearby Cleveland and Pittsburgh metroplexes for passengers as they once did.

Youngstown’s best chance to land commercial air service after Allegiant leaves may lie with a regional carrier flying small planes and which does not have an operating agreement to fly under the brand name of a legacy carrier.

One such carrier might be Southern Airways. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Southern operates single-engine turboprops.

“We are going to talk to them all. We are going to try to bring another airline to this airport,” said Moliterno of the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

Although Moliterno said commercial service accounts for less than 10 percent of the airport’s overall business, an empty terminal creates a negative public perception.

“Which is the other reason it is very important for us to get that service back,” he said.

Allegiant to End Service to Youngstown

October 11, 2017

The last scheduled commercial airline service at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport will end on Jan. 4, 2018, when Allegiant Air ceases flying to  two Florida destinations.

Allegiant said demand is not high enough to continue service from Youngstown to the Orlando-Sanford and Clearwater airports.

In a statement, Allegiant said passengers booked out of Youngstown beyond early January will be given a refund or rebooked on Allegiant flights from Cleveland or Pittsburgh.

Airport officials, though, dispute that the Allegiant flights are doing poorly.

John Moliterno, executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority, said the flights have had over 90 percent occupancy.

Allegiant has been flying to Youngstown since 2006. For a time in the past two years it also flew to the Akron-Canton Airport.

Flight Cuts Hurt Youngstown Airport

October 29, 2016

The commercial airline woes continue for the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, which is losing flights and revenue.

Youngstown AirportAirport officials expect the yearly passenger count at the airport this year to be 110,000, which would be 20,000 less than in 2015.

The latest flight cutbacks were the cancellation of flights by Allegiant Air between Youngstown and Punta Gorda, Florida, near Fort Myers.

Aviation Director Dan Dickten said there is no clear date for when the Punta Gorda flights might be reinstated.

In late August the airport lost service to Chicago O’Hare International Airport by Great Lakes Jet Express.

Dickten said the lost flights have resulted in falling parking revenue. In 2015, the airport made $400,000 in parking revenue, but expects that to fall to about $315,000 this year.

Allegiant this year has expanded service to Akron-Canton Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport, which Dickten said has reduced the customer base for the Youngstown airport.

Allegiant announced earlier that it will move its flights from Akron-Canton to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and it is not clear what effect, if any, this would have on Allegiant operations in Youngstown.

Youngstown-Chicago Flights End

September 1, 2016

Scheduled airline service between Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and Chicago has ended after local officials ceased funding it.

The last flights operated on Aug. 24, after the Western Reserve Port Authority decided on Aug. 17 to end its support of the flights, which were flown by Great Lakes Jet Express.

Youngstown AirportAerodynamics, Incorporated, which the port authority was paying to operate the flights, said in a news release that the discontinuance of financial support prompted the move.

The end of service occurred less than two months after it began on July 1. Youngstown continues to be served by low-fare carrier Allegiant Air and a charter operator that has periodic flights to casinos in New Jersey and Mississippi.

The Chicago service had been the first daily scheduled service to Youngstown in 14 years and airport officials say they continue to seek other carriers to serve the airport.

The Western Reserve board said one reason why it pulled it financial support was the discovery that ADI did not have a code sharing arrangement with United Airlines as it thought.

A code sharing arrangement means that a carrier has interline agreements for ticketing and baggage transfer with other carriers.

United had initially listed Great Lakes flights to Youngstown but removed them nine days before the service began.

Youngstown officials said they discovered that United had a code sharing agreement with ADI but not with Great Lakes.

“The interline agreement we thought we had, we didn’t,” said Dan Dickten, director of aviation for the airport. “We were told there would be a resolution on that and there wasn’t and we knew it was going to fail.”

Consequently, passengers had to buy separate tickets for connecting flights and go through security screening again in Chicago.

Great Lakes offered 19 flights per week using Embrarer regional jet equipment and connected with JetBlue, Delta and American , but Dickten said not having connections with United connection meant the service missed out on 60 percent of the market.

“We would never had started ticket sales had we known that there wouldn’t be an interline agreement with United Airlines,” he said.

Dickten said the Western Reserve board didn’t want to continue funding a service that was losing money and not attracting many passengers.

During July, Great Lakes had a load factor of 31 percent, which was well short of the 45 percent that Youngstown airport officials wanted to see.

For the flights to be profitable, patronage would need to be 85 to 90 percent or $8,500 per day in ticket revenue.

Funding for the Chicago-Youngstown service came from a $780,000 federal grant and $420,000 from a local hotel-bed tax fund and other sources.

Thus far, Youngstown-Warren airport had given ADI more than $361,000 for the service.

Western Reserve Port Authority Executive Director John Moliterno said the money allotted to ADI that has not been spent would be used to fund another service if possible.

“People want to fly out of this airport,” he said. “They appreciate the convenience we have, that’s what we have to offer. We’re going to continue to try to sell that. We’re going to offer that same thing to other airlines to encourage them to fly out of our airport, because we know that our people want to fly.”