Group lobbies United Airlines to start Youngstown flights - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Group lobbies United Airlines to start Youngstown flights

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VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A community support group is working to convince United Airlines to bring commercial air service to Youngstown.

Daily commercial service to a connecting hub like Chicago would be a major boost for the regional airport. The group called YNG Air Partners says United Airlines is interested, but a key piece to the puzzle is providing the airline with a revenue guarantee.

"Any airline that comes in they figure they're going to sustain some losses originally, not necessarily but it could happen, and so they want a buffer, they want the money there so they don't lose" said YNGAir's Ed Crepage.

The guarantee fund would only be needed until the airline turns a profit.

"If they make a profit right away you save the money for getting another route" Crepage said.

The airport did secure a Department of Transportation grant worth 780-thousand dollars which requires 420-thousand dollars in local matching funds, which the Port Authority has appropriated. United believes it might need more to mitigate it's initial business risk, so YNGAir is hoping to raise 450-thousand  The group is challenging regional leaders to support the effort.

"We're asking Trumbull and Mahoning county as well as the city's of Youngstown and Warren and businesses to assist in raising this additional money" said Crepage.

]The airports Director of Aviation,  Dan Dickten, says support by business and the flying public is what drives an airlines decision and he is confident YNGAir will achieve and surpass their goal.

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