Without any prior warning Great Lakes Airline suspended their scheduled flight operations as an air carrier effective midnight Monday.
Great Lakes offered little in way of explanation for their sudden flight suspensions.
A letter dated March 26 was left on their ticket counter Tuesday morning which reads, “Great Lakes suspends scheduled flight operations. As a result and at midnight tonight –Monday 3/26/18- Great Lakes will suspend scheduled flight operations as an air carrier. Although we are ceasing flight operations it is important to note that the company has not entered bankruptcy and will continue to operate certain segments of the business.
We will continue to support the ADI flights operating between Denver, Pierre and Watertown.
The City of Page learned about it at 4 p.m. Monday, said city manager Crystal Dyches.
“My understanding is that their subsidies were cut because of the way they were running their 19 seat configuration,” said Dyches.
Calls made to their corporate offices in Cheyenne, Wyo., went unanswered.
On Wednesday morning Page Mayor Bill Diak released a statement regarding Great Lakes sudden departure. His statement reads:
On the evening of March 26, 2018, the City of Page received notice from Great Lakes Airlines that Great Lakes Airlines would stop air service in and out of Page effective immediately. The City had no prior knowledge of a potential termination of air service. This development is obviously very concerning and the City is evaluating all options as well as impacts to the community and the airport.
Commercial airline service into Page is provided under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) manages the EAS program. As such, the City has very limited authority with respect to carriers operating under EAS and is dependent on the USDOT to select a carrier. Upon notification of the situation with Great Lakes Airlines, the City immediately reached out to USDOT in an attempt to work with USDOT to minimize the immediate impacts of the stoppage and re-establish EAS service as quickly as possible. At approximately 3:00 PM today, the USDOT released a Request for Proposals, seeking replacement Essential Air Service on an emergency basis. Although the timeline for restored EAS service into Page is still unknown, the deadline for the Requests for Proposals is April 3, 2018.
We thank you all for your patience as this develops.
Mayor William R. Diak