A Florida-based carrier will be Bar Harbor Airport’s next seasonal airline, officials said Friday.
The U.S. Department of Transportation selected Silver Airways of Fort Lauderdale on Thursday to supplement Cape Air, an airline that serves the airport year-round, according to the Trenton-based airport’s manager, Bradley Madeira.
Silver’s commitment eases concerns that the lack of a second carrier could inconvenience visitors to Mount Desert Island this summer or decrease the number of passengers the airport serves, which could in turn reduce its federal maintenance funding.
The contract of departing carrier Pen-Air expires on June 30. Silver’s service is set to start on July 1.
Pen-Air has said customers who purchased reservations to or from the airport after June 30 will receive full refunds and soon be able to rebook flights on Silver, Madeira said.
Silver will likely make the Bar Harbor Airport’s air fares more competitive with Bangor International Airport, but airport officials won’t know until Silver provides more details, Madeira said.
Silver flies Saab SF-340 B twin-engine turboprop aircraft. They will carry as many as 34 passengers in commutes to Boston’s Logan Airport, with connections through Silver to more than 75 destinations nationally and internationally, Madeira said.
“There is a good possibility that they will bring better agreements to the table. They have ticket and baggage agreements with virtually all major carriers,” Madeira said Friday.
That could save passengers time spent going through airport security at Logan by allowing them automatic baggage transfer to their next flights, Madeira said.
Airport officials and Hancock County’s Board of Commissioners had recommended Silver over competing airline Boutique Air last month to the federal transportation department.
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