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Published: Thursday, 5/20/2004

New D.C. flights offered at Metro; charter adds Florida runs in Toledo

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Independence Air, a new low-fare airline, announced yesterday it will fly eight daily round trips between Detroit and Washington starting Aug. 23 as part of a 35-city hub system based at Washington's Dulles International Airport.

A scheduled charter carrier, meanwhile, announced the addition of a second flight from Toledo Express Airport to Sanford, Fla., on 11 Sundays between June 6 and Aug. 22. TransMeridian Airlines said it would add the midday service to meet demand for Florida flights during the summer.

Independence Air will operate 50-seat Bombardier CRJ regional jets on all its routes, including the flights to and from Detroit Metropolitan-Wayne County Air-

port. The airline is a subsidiary of Atlantic Coast Airlines, a former feeder carrier for United Airlines at Dulles.

The airline is to begin flying June 16 between Washington and five cities: Newark, N.J., Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. More cities are to be added during the summer, including Lansing, Mich., on July 17; Cleveland on Aug. 1, and Columbus and Dayton on Aug. 15.

Paul Toth, director of airports for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, said previously that he and his staff had been in discussions with Independence about starting service here but were told that Detroit would get service first. Toledo could be a candidate for future Independence Air expansion, he said.

Meanwhile, TransMeridian said it would add a 2:50 p.m. departure from Toledo Express to Sanford, near Orlando, every Sunday from June 6 to Aug. 22 except for July 4. Northbound flights will leave Sanford at 11:30 a.m. on those dates. TransMeridian now flies between Toledo and Sanford three times weekly in each direction, with northbound flights on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings and southbound flights on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday mornings.

On Monday, Toledo Express officials confirmed that they are seeking a federal grant that could subsidize proposed Delta Air Lines service between Toledo and New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, and have secured $1 million in local business commitments to support the proposed service.

Contact David Patch at

419-724-609 or

dpatch@theblade.com.



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