Service from Morgantown to Cleveland Delayed Again

Make that three consecutive missed launch dates for a full schedule of flights out of Morgantown to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The full schedule was slated to begin June 1, June 17, July 1, and now, July 15.

Doug Caldwell, RegionsAir president, attributed the delays to mechanical problems.

"We are going to be changing out an engine on one plane," Caldwell said Monday. "We've been struggling with this for a while, and Continental doesn't want to initiate the full schedule until we have two planes in the air and one sitting on the ground ready to go."

The new service features the 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft and replaces Air Midwest/US Airways Express, which had provided flights from Morgantown to Pittsburgh.

Bob Hammel, Morgantown Municipal Airport director, received the news Monday morning in an email from Stuart Schofield, an operations manager for Houston-based Continental Airlines.

"We have been informed that due to continued operational issues, Continental has decided it is necessary to extend the interim schedule flown by Continental Connection by RegionsAir until July 14," Hammel said.

Hammel said Continental has now decided to begin a full schedule on July 15.

"The decision also affects the marketing campaign, which was scheduled to coincide with the July 1 launch," Hammel added.

The marketing plan was set to kick off July 3, according to Tom Crooks, president of Marietta, Ohio's Stonewall Marketing Group.

Hammel and Dan Boroff, Morgantown city manager, traveled to Cleveland on June 12 to speak with RegionsAir and Continental representatives. The two made the trip during a time when an on-again offagain interim schedule left some travelers stranded with no plane to board.

"I don't know any more than Mr. Hammel at this point," Boroff said.

The interim schedule remains in place with two daily flights to Cleveland Monday through Friday, one flight Saturday and two departures Sunday.

The full schedule adds one extra flight on weekdays.

Flights can be booked through local travel agents, Continental Airlines and assorted online booking services.

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