By Melissa McCoy for KSAL News
Tue 05:10 PM 04/12/2011
In the midst of Congressional debate over the U.S. Department of Transportation subsidized essential air service program, Salina EAS provider SeaPort Airlines saw its best month yet since beginning service in April 2010.
During the month of March, SeaPort had 205 Salina enplanements. That is more than 200 people flying out of Salina to Kansas City. Some of those passengers caught outbound flights on other airlines that offer service out of Kansas City International Airport or conducted business in Kansas City and returned to Salina.
“I’ve flown SeaPort at least four times in the last six months. I love using them. They are very affordable and cheaper than driving,” said president and owner of Salina-based Triplett, Inc. Mark Augstine. “I’ve used them for one-way flights and connecting flights. Most recently, my wife and I hit a delay coming into Kansas City from Chicago. I called Scott at the SeaPort terminal and let him know what was going on. He talked to the other passengers and they all agreed to hold the flight. They picked us up at the curb and shuttled us back to SeaPort’s terminal and we were able to be on the last flight out on Sunday night. It saved us a vehicle rental.”
“I am thrilled but not surprised that passenger numbers for Salina continue to climb,” said SeaPort Airlines President and CEO Rob McKinney. “We at SeaPort have found that if we stay focused on providing the best possible customer service experience for guests, we are rewarded with increased demand.”
While some passengers caught connections or made a quick turnaround back to Salina, others continued on the comfortable Pilatus PC-12 to other mid-south locations like Memphis, Tenn. or Harrison, Ark.
“Over the past few months Salina-based IntelliFinishing has been working with a company in Memphis on the development of a new paint system for their manufacturing facility,” explained IntelliFishing Vice President Doug Oliphant. “The development process required several trips to Memphis. Seaport was a real time-saver for my busy schedule. The flights were always on time, the staff courteous, and service was exceptional.”
SeaPort Airlines is a scheduled commuter airline, operating over 100 total daily scheduled within Oregon, Washington, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alaska. Each location consistently provides passengers with efficient and friendly service.