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Schumer: air service cuts in O’burg, Plattsburgh ‘the wrong way to go’

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 10:59 AM EST
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - With SkyWest Airlines pulling out of Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh this spring, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says the losses are “the wrong way to go for northern New York.”

The Ogdensburg Bridge And Port Authority announced Wednesday SkyWest plans to pull out in 90 days, leaving the Ogdensburg International Airport without an airline.

In a statement Thursday, Schumer said “As the North Country continues to recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extended closure of the northern border, maintaining consistent and reliable air service to other hubs across the U.S. is essential to the region’s recovery.”

“I’ll continue to work with the airport and local stakeholders to build Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh airports back stronger than before from the pandemic.” he said.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will solicit proposals from other airlines to service Ogdensburg.

Schumer was not the only person to speak out Thursday.

Sam Burns, head of the Bridge And Port Authority’s board, (the Authority runs the airport), pledged the Authority will “get it done.”

“At the Bridge And PorT Authority, we no longer throw our hands up in the air and give up,” Burns said.

“That doesn’t happen. We just dig deeper and do whatever we can. We know what our mission is, and we will get it done.”

SkyWest said it is leaving because of staffing issues brought on by COVID. Local officials have also cited a big drop in business because of the virus, which effectively stopped Canadians from travelling to Ogdensburg to fly. People boarding airplanes in Ogdensburg dropped from more than 26,000 in 2019 to fewer than 10,000 in the pandemic year of 2020.

SkyWest is one year into a three year contract worth $14 million in federal subsidies.

North country congresswoman Elise Stefanik said on Twitter she was ‘disappointed’ by SkyWest’s announcement.

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