WASHINGTON — Meetings between Bangor International Airport officials and representatives of Atlantic Coast Airlines and US Airways Express were held here Friday in an effort to expand and improve service to BIA.
BIA Manager Bob Ziegelaar met with Kerry Sheen, president of Atlantic Coast Airlines — which operates in Maine as United Express — to encourage the airline’s expansion into Bangor.
During the meeting in Sen. Olympia J. Snowe’s office, BIA officials discussed their interest in expanding service to Bangor by adding regional jet service, possibly linking BIA to cities such as Chicago and Washington. Ziegelaar pledged the commitment of BIA to strongly market new regional jet flights. The airline made no commitment, but said it would consider Bangor in future expansion plans.
“I wanted to give Bob Ziegelaar the opportunity to present Bangor’s marketing plan directly to Atlantic Coast’s president, who will ultimately make the decision about expanding service,” said Snowe in a prepared statement. She said that in addition to its regional jet service as United Express, the airline recently entered into an agreement to fly 45 regional jets for Delta Air Lines.
Subsequently, Sens. Snowe and Collins and Rep. John Baldacci, convened a second meeting between US Airways Express and BIA to discuss concerns about commuter flights to and from Bangor, and the potential of arranging new service by an alternative commuter carrier.
During that meeting, Ziegelaar explained BIA’s difficulties with the current commuter service provided by Mesa Airlines, the carrier that provides carrier service, including airplanes, for US Airways. US Airways officials said they understand concerns about a lack of available seats to and from Bangor, and are conducting a full review to determine if service can be improved.