The airline’s chairman vowed to return to service this fall, however, with Melbourne [Florida]’s airport serving as the base for the operation’s lone Boeing 737-800 jet. “Melbourne will be our focus city,” Steve Schoen said in a telephone interview late Friday from Clearwater, where the airline is based. He later added that the airport in Lansing, Mich., will also be a “target city.”That's right - we might not have seen the last of the JetAmerica yet. But airports would probably be pretty wary of giving JetAmerica (or its latest incarnation) another chance. The Melbourne airport allocated $25,000 to help promote JetAmerica, and most of that's been spent. And the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, which was JetAmerica's focus city, has already spent $119,000, and that amount could end up being as high as $150,000.
I recently asked Toledo Airport's President and CEO, Michael J. Stolarczyk, a few questions about his airport and JetAmerica. If JetAmerica were to start up again, "we would certainly hope that Toledo Express is considered," said Stolarczyk. "If Steve Schoen starts another air carrier, we would welcome the discussion and would fully vet the proposal as we did the first time. The operations team that Steve Schoen compiled was comprised of professionals from the industry and there were several points in their model that will prove to be viable. Fortunately, I’m sure they have learned some valuable lessons from this experience – as have we - and I fully hope Mr. Schoen reemerges with a strong product and that he considers Toledo Express as a service corridor."
Stolarczyk also notes that JetAmerica should have gone with a less aggressive schedule. "Daily service to the New York area is provided from Detroit and we truly wanted to capitalize on that and capture some of those travelers. We can capture those travelers; however, we may not be able to fully load daily service to New York right from the start. In the future, we will begin with three to four times per week service to this market…and then grow that service to its maximum potential."
And as for Toledo and those other airports which were seeking new air service, Stolarczyk remains optimistic. "The team at Toledo Express is going to continue to be diligent in our efforts to secure air passenger service. We will continue to bring the best offer to the table that we possibly can for our partners in these efforts –just like we did with JetAmerica... We bring the same spirit of enthusiasm and support that we showed to JetAmerica to all potential passenger air service partners. It is not a matter of if we will obtain additional air service; it is truly a matter of when."