Toledo Express fails to start new Florida air service


The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's hopes to start new air service between Toledo and Fort Myers, Fla., have come up empty when a third airport that was also slated to participate pulled out of the deal, the agency announced today.

Port officials had been negotiating with Aviation Advantage, Inc., to operate seasonal flights, two roundtrips per week, between Toledo Express Airport and Southwest Florida International Airport, but the plan required the involvement of another airport -- not identified in the statement -- "to take the balance of hours of aircraft time."

Aviation Advantage's negotiations with the other airport "proved unsuccessful," according to the port authority.

"We're disappointed that we are not able to provide this service to the traveling public here in northwest Ohio," port President Paul Toth said. "We were 100 percent prepared to move forward with a route that has proven to be very popular with our travelers in the past. Unfortunately, Aviation Advantage was unable to come to an agreement with the other party involved in the transaction."

Aviation Advantage was to have operated the proposed flights as a port authority contractor. Port officials had cautioned when they authorized negotiations with that firm earlier this month that other parties were involved.