PenAir Files for Bankruptcy

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--A local airline that serves the Northern Maine Regional Airport has filed for bankruptcy. Regional Airport Director Scott Wardwell says the PenAir's bankruptcy will not affect flyers in the county.

"Bankruptcy is a big thing," said Wardwell.

PenAir is the only airline at the Northern Maine Regional Airport, but Wardwell says the airline will not be pulled and services will continue as usual.

"I’ve been told by PenAir that the operations in Presque Isle will move forward just as they always have. The market has been very good for PenAir. They see us as a solution to their problem going forward," said Wardwell.

And frequent flyers, are happy to hear that.

"It’s a lot easier for me because I fly to Baltimore Maryland where my son lives. It takes a lot longer to drive to either Bangor or to Portland. And I enjoy the trip from here to Boston and from there on to wherever I’m going. The service has been excellent. I’ve had no problems," said Joyce Sharp.

"I travel for business and it's very convenient for me because it probably would’ve been a ten hour drive for me to get here from either upstate New York. It was really easy for me to drive to Boston with a three hour trip and get on a plane and get here an hour and a half from there," said Jeff Ehrenberg.

PenAir, an Alaska-based airline service has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

"Over the last couple of years PenAir went through a really big expansion and it took on a lot of additional markets and a number of those markets really didn't work out as well as they had hoped," said Wardwell.

PenAir released a statement saying that their Portland, Oregon and Denver Colorado hubs will begin the process of closing over the next 90 days.

"That gives the airport and the U.S. department of transportation the opportunity to find somebody to back fill," said Wardwell.

Wardwell also says there's silver lining with the company pulling out from its previous locations.

"There are some positive things. They were a little stretched for aircraft we'll actually be getting an additional aircraft to try to help when there's maintenance issues and that kind of thing," said Wardwell.

Wardwell says passengers should expect services to go on as they have before with possible improvements, and that flyers should not worry.