Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that United Airlines has been chosen as the Essential Air Service (EAS) provider to Presque Isle International Airport. The selection means there will not be a lapse in air service to Presque Isle.
Under the agreement, which covers from July 1, 2020, to May 31, 2022, United will offer 12 nonstop round trips per week to Newark Liberty International Airport using a 50-seat regional jet aircraft. Due to COVID-19’s effect on air travel, United is providing EAS service from Presque Isle to Dulles International Airport, another one of its hubs located near Washington, D.C., through at least September 30th. United also has the option to provide some flights to Boston for the duration of the two-year contract. The Presque Isle City Council and the Presque Isle Airport Advisory Committee supported United’s bid.
“Presque Isle International Airport is a vital part of Aroostook County’s infrastructure that not only provides an important transportation option to residents but also promotes job creation and economic development throughout the region.” said Senator Collins. “As the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I am committed to protecting air service to rural areas, which is why I have worked to increase funding for the program that supports these flights.”
Last December, the Fiscal Year 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill Senator Collins authored was signed into law. It included $162 million for the EAS Program, which provides commercial air service to Augusta/Waterville, Bar Harbor, Presque Isle, and Rockland. In addition, the supplemental appropriations package Senator Collins authored that was included in the CARES Act that became law in March provided an additional $56 million for the EAS Program to ensure air service continues to communities at a time when air carriers are struggling with declining demand for air travel due to COVID-19.