Stewart in a stew as airlines pull
They're in a stew up in New York: where the Port Authority's ambitious plans for making a meaningful alternative at Stewart, some 55 miles from Gotham and up on the west bank of the Hudson, faces real hurdles. The airline crisis, the slowing economy and Stewart's somewhat remote location have led to a pullout by some of the carriers that went into the airport: AirTran pulls out next month, permanently ending five routes, while JetBlue is cutting back, ending its service to West Palm Beach and dropping Orlando and Fort Lauderdale to one daily flight, while Delta is cutting back from four to two daily flight to Atlanta, both in September. Skybus, a big boost to the traffic numbers, went out of business in April. That leaves US Airways Express and Northwest Airlink. With the loss of 400,000 annual AirTran seats alone, the airport faces a 40% drop in passengers.
The also airport faces the possibility that the few folks who began to pick up the Stewart habit will lose it, and go elsewhere. Or just not fly. In 2007, about 914,000 people used the airport, up from the 309,000 of the year before, many of them drawn by the very low Skybus fares. So, the Port Authority's one million annual passenger number is very unlikely to be reached. However, the agency did agree that it wouldn't change the name Stewart, reports jewishbreakingnews.com The Stewart clan, dairy farmers, gave the land to the state in 1930; at one point, New York's governor, Nelson Rockefeller, thought that the very noisy Concorde could land there and so disturb cows rather than people.
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