PC-12s to serve Arkansas EAS

 - July 28, 2009, 6:05 AM

The DOT has awarded Portland, Ore.-based SeaPort Airlines Essential Air Service subsidies for routes from Memphis to four Arkansas communities starting October 1. Harrison, Hot Springs, El Dorado and Jonesboro, Ark., have gone without scheduled service since June 1 of last year, when Mesa Air Group dissolved Air Midwest, ending its Beech 1900 service to the four cities from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Great Lakes Aviation subsequently bid for and won the right to fly the routes, but withdrew its offer in April.

SeaPort, which flies nine-seat Pilatus PC-12s in scheduled Part 135 service from Portland, Ore., to three Oregon communities and Seattle, has committed to flying 18 round trips a week between Memphis and the four Arkansas towns with the single-engine turboprops for a total annual subsidy of just over $6 million.