Port Authority negotiating for more flights in ToledoWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Toledo Lucas County Port Authority board of directors passed a resolution to authorize the port authority to begin negotiations for additional air service at Toledo Express Airport. The intended contract would provide seasonal air service between Toledo and Southwest Florida International Airport in Punta Gorda.
The board passed the resolution unanimously after coming out of executive session at a special board meeting held at 9 a.m. Sept. 11. No action was taken in the executive session, according to board chairman William Carroll before the board reconvened to vote on the resolution presented by Port Authority President and CEO Paul Toth.
The resolution authorizes the port authority to negotiate with Aviation Advantage, Inc. (AAI), a broker of aviation services with experience in scheduled air service, air charter operations and other passenger air services for the air service contract.
The Port Authority and AAI have held discussions regarding expansion of seasonal air service between Toledo Express Airport and Southwest Florida International Airport. Toth said they will begin negotiations immediately and anticipates that an announcement of the new carrier could come in the next seven to 10 days.
The proposed service is anticipated to begin on or about December 20 and continue through Mid-April 2013. The contract is expected to guarantee flights during the five-month period, according to Carroll.
An air service contract will be negotiated that could require the Port Authority to guarantee the cost of the flights and the proposed airline to guarantee the completion of all flights. The final terms of an agreement including airline, aircraft type, flight schedules, and other details would be included in the contract.
As president, Toth is authorized to finalize negotiations with AAI for the proposed air service contract for the seasonal service. Final terms of the agreement will be reviewed and approved by the chairman of the board, Carroll, prior to the execution and public announcement of it.
“It’s all part of our strategy to move forward with Toledo Express Airport,” said Carroll at the board meeting.
Direct Air flew between Toledo and Southwest Florida for the past five years during the winter season prior to filing bankruptcy in March 2012. The route proved to be very popular among northwest Ohio and southwest Florida residents, according to the Port Authority.
The next regular Port Authority board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 27.