Presque Isle Airport Welcomes New 1st Class Jet Amid Pre-Pandemic Flight Trends
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Business looks and even rivals what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic ground life ended at one of the airports in Aroostook County.
With an increase in passenger numbers and upcoming changes to their planes, Presque Isle International Airport sees flight numbers rival 2019. The positive flight trends come as the airport prepares to add a new CRJ-550 jet to its fleet, marking the for the first time since 1978, it offers first-class seating to passengers.
In September 2021, the airport picked up 1,198 passengers and saw 1,141 returns to Presque Isle from Newark Liberty International Airport or Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. These figures exceed that of September 2020 – 404 embarkations and 391 arrivals – as well as that of September 2019. – 1,188 embarkations and 994 arrivals.
“I think we’re headed in a pretty good direction,” said airport manager Scott Wardwell. “We are seeing our numbers go back to what they were before COVID.”
Unlike the current ERJ-145 jet operated by CommutAir, the new 50-seat CRJ-550 jet will offer First Class seating, with the remaining 40 seats split between Economy Plus and Economy Class. The additional aircraft is the result of United Airlines’ new partnership with GoJet Airlines, a regional airline operator based in Missouri.
In addition, the new jet will have Wi-Fi capabilities, more storage space for luggage and a bigger engine designed to withstand the rigors of winter.
“It’s very important to have first class seats. We think that will make more people want to leave Presque Isle, ”Wardwell said.
The airport will change its flight schedule as part of United Airlines’ plans to expand its service market from October 31. Monday to Friday, departures from Presque Isle at 6:00 a.m. and 6:40 p.m. and arrivals at Presque Isle at 5:00 p.m. : 52 and 11 p.m. Weekends will offer a 6 a.m. departure and an 8:30 p.m. arrival in Presque Isle.
The new schedule maintains the current schedule of 12 flights per week and aims to provide more convenient flight schedules for travelers, Wardwell said.
“Each day will have the opportunity to arrive early for people who prefer not to arrive late at night,” Wardwell said.