Boston-Maine faces DOT proposal to strip certificate

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US regulators are planning to strip Boston-Maine Airways of its certificate and reject its request to expand operations, citing the carrier’s lack of adequate finances, managerial competence and regard for the law.

In a ‘show cause’ order issued on February 1 the US DOT says Boston-Maine - which operates under the Pan Am Clipper Connection banner - does not possess “the financial wherewithal to continue or expand its operations without posing an undue risk to consumers and their funds”.

Additionally, the Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based carrier lacks “the managerial competence necessary to oversee its current and proposed operations”.

The DOT also says it does not have confidence in Boston-Maine’s regard for the laws governing its services “to ensure that its aircraft and personnel conform to applicable safety standards and to ensure that acceptable consumer relations practices will be followed”.

Should the department’s order be finalized it will close a lengthy review into Boston-Maine, which became the focus of a US DOT office of inspector general investigation in 2005 after submitting false financial documents to the regulator.

The airline’s long-standing request to grow its 727 operations was also suspended pending completion of the probe.