Jeff Kiger, jkiger | Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 1:24 pm Something, possibly a new airline, is gearing up to take off at the Rochester International Airport.
Airport officials have scheduled a special event at 9 a.m. Monday “for the revealing of an exciting air service announcement” at the main terminal. The event is to include airport and community leaders.
Adding more flights and airlines to the local airport has long been an issue. Allegiant Air announced last month that it would be ending its weekly nonstop flights to Arizona on May 14.
In August 2012, the Rochester International Airport was awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department Transportation to help attract airlines to provide direct flight service to more destinations. The Rochester City Council approved a local match of $225,000, for a total of $750,000.
The airport’s application included a letter from Frontier Airlines, saying the Denver-based company would be interested in providing direct flights if Rochester could offer incentives. The airport has not added any new flights or airlines, since that grant was presented.
Mark Sixel, who did the recent study for the airport, concluded his report by saying Rochester has a large enough passenger market to support more flights. However, numbers alone may not be enough in this competitive environment.
“It is likely the Rochester International Airport will have to offer some some kind of risk mitigation program, including waivers, marketing and even ground handling to convince another airline to launch service,” he wrote.
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