Pocatello hoping to keep Big Sky Airlines at airport

Published: Monday, Jan. 22 2007 12:09 a.m. MST

POCATELLO — The president of Big Sky Airlines says he will pull his company out of the Pocatello Regional Airport by March unless he can work out a deal with the city that shields his airline from losing money in the market.

Big Sky has been losing money on its two daily flights from Pocatello to Boise ever since it moved into the airport about a year ago, said President Fred deLeeuw. Big Sky moved into the airport the same day Horizon Air moved out.

But bookings on Big Sky's flights to Boise have been about half of what they were on Horizon's flights.

"The business has just not developed the way we thought it would," deLeeuw said. "We are losing considerable sums of money."

The city is negotiating with the airline to keep at least one Big Sky flight to Boise at the airport.

It's considering a proposal that would guarantee Big Sky a minimum amount of business, and use city money to pay the difference if the airline didn't receive the guaranteed amount. Big Sky is also looking at potential schedule and rate changes.

If Big Sky leaves, Pocatello Regional Airport would be left with SkyWest as its sole remaining airline.

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