ATA Airlines ceases service at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport effective April 10, 2005
PRESS RELEASE JANUARY 27, 2005CONTACT: Michele Routh, Community Relations Director
The St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) received notification late yesterday that effective April 10th ATA Airlines will end service from Indianapolis and Chicago-Midway to St Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.
Airport Director Noah Lagos received the news from Mr. Doug Yakola, Sr. Vice President at ATA Airlines. ATA announced plans to reduce its schedule in Indianapolis as a result of fierce competition in the Indiana Market. Beginning in April, ATA will have only four flights a day from Indianapolis to Orlando, Ft. Myers, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Lagos has requested a meeting with ATA officials as soon as possible to discuss their decision and ask them to re-evaluate service to PIE even if on a seasonal basis only.
ATA Airlines filed for bankruptcy in October 2004. As part of ATA's restructuring, they entered into an agreement with Southwest Airlines that included code-sharing. As recently as ten days ago, ATA represented that St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport would have connectivity through Chicago-Midway with Southwest Airlines flights. It certainly appeared that ATA operations would continue at PIE for the foreseeable future.
ATA represented 50% of St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport's passenger traffic in 2004. In 2005, based on the information just received, we estimate a loss of 150,000 passengers from the cessation of ATA services for the rest of the calendar year. The immediate impact on our fiscal year 2005 budget is projected to be $400,000 in lost revenue.
St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport's other major domestic carrier, USA 3000 Airlines, will carry about 300,000 passengers per year and is expected to expand service in the near future. In addition, our three Canadian carriers (Jetsgo, Air Transat, and Canjet) should serve about 100,000 passengers per year. We estimate that without the addition of any new service, PIE will serve approximately 550,000 passengers in 2005. We are in discussion with several airlines interested in coming into this market and believe we will see some new service this year.
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