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Published: 7/2/2009

JetAmerica delays its Toledo, other flights 30 days

BLADE STAFF

A Florida-based company that was to start new airline service between Toledo and several cities for as low as $9 this month told its passengers Thursday that their flights were being delayed 30 days because of landing slot issues.

JetAmerica told passengers booked on flights to Newark, N.J. and other destinations in an e-mail that the company is going to have to delay our first flights 30 days until August 14th.

The company explained that when we started planning your flight five months ago, we were not required as an indirect air carrier to have landing and takeoff slots... however, due to recent policy clarifications, even indirect air carriers now have to have slots... We just found out about this on May 30th and have been working hard to acquire the slots from the FAA and other airlines.

A spokesman for the upstart airline said yesterday that all of its operations were being pushed back 30 days and that passengers who have already booked flights were being given full refunds immediately. He said that if passengers preferred instead to rebook their tickets, they could keep the same fare as they originally had paid. If they chose to take a refund and rebook later, the airline will wave all of the booking fees that we can.

JetAmerica s tentative schedule had called for flights between Toledo and Newark, N.J., daily except Saturday plus twice-weekly service to Melbourne, Fla., beginning July 13. Thrice-weekly flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul were to begin Aug. 14.

Tens of thousands of fares were sold for rates as low as $9 one way plus taxes and fees, with at least 19 seats on each Boeing 737-800 aircraft at the bargain price.

The first year of JetAmerica s service was to be subsidized with a $400,000 federal Small Cities Air Service grant, matched by $200,000 in Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority funds, plus marketing assistance from the port authority and local media outlets.



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