New Mexico EAS Communities Want Albuquerque (Not Denver) Service

A less expensive proposal for service to Albuquerque by Pacific Wings was dropped when that carrier could not win over any of the local governments.

Pacific Wings, which had been flying EAS routes in Hawaii, had submitted a proposal to provide 12 weekly round-trips from both Clovis and Silver City to Albuquerque for an annual subsidy of $1.4 million. Pacific Wings pulled its proposal in February after it failed to secure an endorsement from any local government.

The EAS rules require that the service be provided on an aircraft with at least 15 seats. Pacific Wings proposed flying the route with a 9-seat Cessna Grand Caravan. DOT noted that Pacific Wings would have had to secure a waiver from each community to have its smaller plane considered.

In its proposal, Pacific Wings noted that its aircraft was better suited for the New Mexico routes since most of the Beechcraft 1900s were flying nearly empty. Clovis last summer averaged 7.5 daily enplanements, with daily capacity at 114 seats. The Silver City routes were slightly more traveled with 8.6 daily enplanements, with 76 available seats.

Pacific Wings also noted that in its proposal that it was able to wean the Hawaiian routes off EAS and it would try to duplicate that feat in New Mexico.

Pacific Wings withdrew its proposal on Feb. 20 after it failed to win over any New Mexico community. In its withdrawal letter, Greg Kahlstorf, president of Pacific Wings, notes that it could not get a hearing in Silver City on its proposal.

“By refusing to listen to proposals and denying new entrants an opportunity to share their offerings with the community, elected officials with allegiances to the incumbent can forestall entry by new competitors indefinitely at taxpayer expense,” Kahlstorf wrote to DOT.

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