OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) — With SkyWest Airlines pulling out of Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh this spring, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said the losses were “the wrong way to go for upstate New York.”
The Ogdensburg Bridge and Harbor Authority announced Wednesday that SkyWest plans to pull out in 90 days, leaving Ogdensburg International Airport without an airline.
In a statement Thursday, Schumer said, “As the North Country continues to recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extended closure of the northern border, maintaining consistent and reliable air service to other hubs across the United States is essential for the recovery of the region.
“I will continue to work with the airport and local stakeholders to rebuild Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh airports stronger than before after the pandemic.” he said.
The US Department of Transportation will seek proposals from other airlines to serve Ogdensburg.
Schumer wasn’t the only person to speak Thursday.
Sam Burns, head of the board of directors of the Bridge And Port Authority (the Authority manages the airport), promised that the Authority “would do it”.
“At the Bridge And Port Authority, we no longer throw our hands up and give up,” Burns said.
“That doesn’t happen. We just dig deeper and do whatever we can. We know what our mission is and we will carry it out. »
SkyWest said he was leaving due to staffing issues brought on by COVID. Local officials also cited a sharp drop in business due to the virus, which effectively prevented Canadians from traveling to Ogdensburg to fly. People boarding planes in Ogdensburg fell from more than 26,000 in 2019 to less than 10,000 in the pandemic year of 2020.
SkyWest is one year into a three-year contract worth $14 million in federal grants.
North Country MP Elise Stefanik said on Twitter that she was “disappointed” with SkyWest’s announcement.
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