Am. Eagle to jettison Bangor

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BANGOR (AP) – Officials at Bangor International Airport said Tuesday that American Eagle had told local employees it will end service in the Bangor market in November.

Also closing will be its aircraft maintenance base, airport officials said.

“We will be working with our other existing carriers to fill the void left by American Eagle,” airport Director Rebecca Hupp said.

Officials said American Eagle, with four to six daily departures from Bangor, has about a 20 percent share of the Bangor market with about 85,000 annual passengers.

Citing American Eagle’s notification, airport officials said the airline employs about 80 people between its two operations and that employees would be offered an opportunity to relocate and a relocation package.

“This is unfortunate news for the American employees at Bangor International Airport and Maine’s flying public who depend on affordable, reliable flight service to and from Bangor,” said Sen. Olympia Snowe in a statement. “Despite this loss, it is critical that commercial air service in Maine remains competitive and airfare costs reasonable …”

I will do everything in my power to assist the people of the Bangor region who were adversely impacted by this decision.”

A similar sentiment was expressed by Sen. Susan Collins.

“As a resident of Bangor, I am disappointed to learn of American Eagle’s decision to end its flights to and from Bangor and to close its maintenance facility at Bangor International Airport in November,” Collins said in the same statement. “Reliable air service to BIA is critical to the economic health of Eastern Maine and we will work with airport officials to try to fill the void left by this departure. This is devastating news for the company’s employees and we will do what we can to support them.”

The statement by airport officials included comment from an American Eagle spokeswoman, Andrea Huguely, who said, “the decision was based on economic factors and is not a reflection on the quality of our employees or our relationship with the airport.”

Also quoted was Bangor Mayor Richard Greene, who expressed disappointment and said city officials “recognize the importance of quality air service to our region.”

Greene added: “Our thoughts are with the employees who have been impacted by this announcement.”

AP-ES-07-17-07 2001EDT

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