Hampshire-based Boston-Maine Airways has revised its business plan to focus primarily
on charter services.
The carrier in a July 18
US DOT filing also says its now wants permission to operate five Boeing 727-200
instead of the seven it has requested for more than three years.
business plan comes less than a month after the DOT requested an update on the airline’s
financial fitness to continue operations, saying its own investigation showed
that the airline needed $22 million to continue to meet this requirement.
affecting [Boston-Maine’s] initial application for large aircraft authority have
changed substantially,” says the carrier.
“As the [DOT] is well
aware, aviation fuel prices have increased dramatically over the past two
years, and that cost impact is particularly severe in the case of relatively
small-volume purchasers of jet fuel, like Boston-Maine,” adds the company.
Because of this, the
carrier says it now plans to add two 727s to its current fleet of three such
aircraft, and all but end scheduled service. For the next 12 months, the
carrier will rely on just two aircraft to maintain its operations.
that it can operate passenger charter flights at a lower total operating cost
than the higher level of fixed operating expense necessitated by
scheduled-service operations,” says the carrier after telling the DOT it has
recorded significant losses for the past three years.
“Second, [the airline] believes
that its shift in emphasis to 727 charter operations, including both ad hoc charters and longer-term contract
charters, will enable [Boston-Maine] to generate the same or greater annual
revenues with 727 aircraft resulting from increased average daily hours of
utilization with its 727 fleet,” adds Boston-Maine.
It is unclear if
Boston-Maine intends to return to its initial plan to operate seven 727-200s. However,
this expansion has been hindered by a lawsuit by the Air Line Pilots
Association claiming a breach of labor laws when Boston-Maine transferred 727
operations when it liquidated its Pan American Airways subsidiary, and a
separate federal investigation in to fraudulent accounting practices.