Cincinnati is Choice for Hub in EAS Bidding

Six cities are in the subsidized air service package that four airlines are bidding on. The DOT will either award all six as a package or split it 3-3, Bradshaw said.

The two-year contract is scheduled to begin June 1. The DOT is expected to make its decision in April.

Bradshaw said the community's recommendations will be sent to Washington, D.C., today.

"We didn't get what we asked for last time," he said. "And we may not this time, but we're going to try."

In 2005, the community asked the DOT to award the contract to Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group to link Owensboro to either Nashville or Chicago's Midway Airport.

But the agency decided to continue the contract with RegionsAir.

In its bid package this year, RegionsAir acknowledged that it has had problems in recent months.

The statement said: "Unfortunately, the company has had some operational issues in the past few months that have negatively impacted performance, causing an increase in cancellations and delays."

The main reason, the company says, "was unexpected engine removals last summer and fall, compounded with significantly higher fuel costs than anticipated in the current contracts."

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