Pam Coffey of St. Louis, Missouri, (middle) sits with her parents, Herschel and Betty Smith of Mars Hill while waiting at the Northern Maine Regional Airport on Thursday, May 31, for her flight to Boston. PenAir announced earlier this week that it was ceasing flights between Presque Isle and Boston effective June 1 instead of July 1 due to a loss of pilots and mechanics who have accepted jobs at other airlines. That leaves northern Maine without passenger air service until United Airlines begins flights from Presque Isle to Newark, New Jersey, on July 1, unless United is able to start serving the area sooner. Credit: Melissa Lizotte

Fifteen passengers sat in the terminal of the Northern Maine Regional Airport after 11 a.m. on May 31, awaiting their 11:45 a.m. flight from Presque Isle to Boston. They became the last group of individuals to fly out to Boston after PenAir officials announced Wednesday they were eliminating air service out of Presque Isle on June 1 instead of on July 1 when its contract was scheduled to end.

Earlier this week the Alaska-based PenAir informed the U.S. Department of Transportation that June 1 would be the final day for its flights to Boston from Presque Isle, Bar Harbor and Plattsburgh, New York. PenAir has held those contracts, subsidized through the federal Essential Air Service Program, since 2012 but lost all of them to other airlines this spring.

The federal DOT awarded a contract to United Airlines in March following a recommendation from the Presque Isle City Council. United Airlines is expected to begin serving Presque Isle with flights to Newark, New Jersey, on July 1.

The Bangor Daily News is pleased to feature content from our sister company, The County. To read the rest of “Presque Isle airport passengers react to PenAir service discontinuation,’” an article by The County staff writer Melissa Lizotte, please follow this link to the County online.