MAIR Holdings subsidiary Big Sky Airlines will cease east
coast operations at midnight on 7 January.
The company has engaged a broker to assist in the sale of
the Beech 1900D aircraft used in the eastern operations.
About 140 employees-primarily in Boston,
Watertown, New York
and Covington, Kentucky will lose their jobs.
Big Sky will continue to operate in Montana.
The regional began its eastern operations on behalf of Delta
Air Lines in April operating primarily out of Boston Logan International
The carrier offered service to Boston from Albany and Watertown, New York, as
well as weekly intrastate service from Albany on a
Big Sky said earlier this month
that it will eliminate flights between Boston
and Fredericton International airport in Canada starting 7 January.
“Our eastern operations were dramatically affected by a
combination of unusually bad weather, disappointing revenue and record high
fuel prices,” Big Sky president Fred deLeeuw says in
a statement. “We have great people who have worked
extraordinarily hard, but that factor could not overcome the challenges we
faced, and we no longer believe that we can reach sustained profitability.”
The latest service cuts send a different message from what
MAIR executives presented during the airline’s most recent earnings call.
The company posted a $2.5 million loss for the second
quarter, which it attributes to startup costs for its Northeast expansion into
four new markets and fuel costs.
MAIR president and CEO Paul Foley said during the call that
the airline will be in the black “as [it] receives more aircraft” for the more
Of the east coast service, he said, the “new markets [are]
showing real progress.”