Boston-Maine seeks one-month reprieve on show cause order

Washington DC
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Boston-Maine Airways will agree to temporarily stop flying by end-February if US regulators grant the embattled carrier a one-month reprieve.

The US DOT is threatening to strip airline’s operating certificate and reject its expansion plan, citing the carrier's lack of adequate finances, managerial competence and regard for the law.

Boston-Maine, which operates under the Pan Am Clipper Connection banner, replies in a DOT filing the 'show cause' order came as a shock and the carrier needs more time to respond.

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.

Boston-Maine adds its “voluntary suspension of all flight operations on February 29 should eliminate any concern the department might have about a potential risk of harm to the public if the show cause order procedural dates were postponed for 30 days".

The Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based carrier asked the department to postpone the carrier's deadline to prove its financial stability to April 2 from March 3.

In the show cause order, the US DOT says Boston-Maine does not possess "the financial wherewithal to continue or expand its operations without posing an undue risk to consumers and their funds".

Additionally, the carrier lacks "the managerial competence necessary to oversee its current and proposed operations".

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".

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

Pan Am Clipper Connection flies daily roundtrips between from Portsmouth to Bedford, Massachusetts and Trenton, New Jersey.