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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Future flights to PQI

These past years I've enjoyed being able to get to northern Maine regularly flying United.  Prior to United being granted the EAS contracts, I recall having to survive small PenAir turboprop planes which wasn't ideal.  Even though the United flights were through Newark (and for some reason occasionally Dulles), they were mostly on-time and also included the customary PQP/PQF which helped for requal each year.

The United contract was due for review and potential new bids by the DOT this past spring.  The major carriers reapplied and for the first time Jetblue made a bid.  The support seen online and in the news was mixed between both United and Jetblue - my hope was that United would get the contract.  

Unfortunately, the DOT decision was released at the end of May and Jetblue was awarded the contract starting September 1st, 2024.  It's important to note they were the low bidder between the applicants.  The City of Presque Isle has the news here.  I'm disappointed since Jetblue is only scheduled to fly one flight a day (United had two) and the times are very late/early.  If there are any operational impacts, passengers could be stuck.  Prices will likely be lower to start - I'm curious how these might change over time.  And, I'll be missing out on United credit for the flights. 

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