Colgan operates planes out of 3 Maine sites

Posted Feb. 13, 2009, at 9:27 p.m.

Colgan Air Inc., the operator of the Continental commuter plane that crashed into a Buffalo suburb on Thursday killing everyone on board, runs a fleet of turboprop airplanes from several Maine locations under the name US Airways Express.

Colgan serves Augusta State Airport, Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton and the Northern Maine Regional Airport in Presque Isle.

Colgan Air, which recently was acquired by Pinnacle Airlines, stopped flying 19-seat passenger planes into Bar Harbor in January, when it switched to flying 34-seat passenger planes, known as the Saab 340.

In June, Colgan Air renegotiated its contract to provide service from Northern Maine Regional Airport to Boston, which is effective until May 2010.

The Presque Isle airport offers nonstop service to and from Boston’s Logan International Airport aboard the Saab turboprops. The airplane departs for Logan several times a day.

The federal government approved a new two-year contract with Colgan Air in October to continue providing subsidized commercial air service at Augusta State Airport. That began in November.

The airline, using the Saab turboprop planes, offers 19 flights a week from Augusta to Logan airport in Boston.

The Manassas, Va.-based company lost its bid to provide low-fare flights between Boston and Owls Head in November.

Knox County Regional Airport Manager Jeff Northgraves recommended Cape Air as the new carrier, and the Knox County commissioners in June voted 3-0 to support Cape Air.

Colgan Air operates several fleets under such names as Continental Connection, United Express and US Airways Express, and uses three types of planes — the Saab, the Beech 1900, which is a 19-passenger plane, and the 74-seat Q400 Bombardier aircraft.

BDN writers Bill Trotter, Jen Lynds and George Chappell contributed to this report.

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