Pan Am leaves Tweed after 5 months


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – After five months of service, Pan Am Clipper Connection plans to end its service Monday between Tweed New Haven Regional Airport and the Baltimore/Washington area.

The turboprop service, which launched in March, rarely attracted more than a handful of people on many of its flights, Tweed officials said.

Airport manager Rick Lamport told Tweed’s governing body last week that during 132 days operating the service, Pan Am drew only 483 passengers on its flights to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Pan Am’s departure means Tweed returns to having just one airline: US Airways Express, which flies daily to Philadelphia.

Members of the Tweed Airport Authority said they were not surprised by Pan Am’s departure. Group chairman Lawrence DeNardis said he took the flights a few times and that the service was “very, very poor,” with delays and many open seats.

Pan Am began flying to and from Tweed with introductory one-way fares of $59, but they soon increased, Tweed officials said.

The airline also advertised only on its own Web site and Travelocity, missing out on the chance to capture travelers booking on other popular reservation Web sites, Lamport said.

A Pan Am Clipper Connection spokeswoman did not return a call from the New Haven Register for comment, but confirmed earlier this month that the service would end Monday.

On March 8, Pan Am began offering eight nonstop flights a week, Monday through Friday, from Tweed to Baltimore/ Washington, D.C.; Bedford, Mass.; Elmira, N.Y.; and Portsmouth, N.H.

The airline is operated by Boston-Maine Airways Corp. and is based in Portsmouth, N.H.

As of Sunday, its Web site listed its current destinations as Portsmouth, Bedford, Elmira and Trenton, N.J.

Information from: New Haven Register,

AP-ES-07-29-07 1333EDT