Leaders working to replace lost Chicago flights from Youngstown

The service was terminated abruptly Wednesday after leaders with the Port Authority refused to continue subsidizing it

The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport was busy Thursday, with customers lining up to fly charter to Atlantic City or St. Petersburg via Allegiant Air.

VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport was busy Thursday with customers lining up to fly charter to Atlantic City or St. Petersburg via Allegiant Air.

Missing was a flight to the Chicago O’Hare Airport, after an announcement from Aerodynamics, Inc. (ADI) that those flights are now over.

Although some of the signage is still there, ADI abruptly ended its daily service to Chicago Wednesday night, just a week after members of the Western Reserve Port Authority announced they wanted to stop paying subsidies to the carrier.

The Port Authority said ADI made several promises that they didn’t keep, citing the company’s failure to have connecting flight agreements with other airlines and confusion with booking flights.

The terminal is still jammed with travelers Thursday, who say convenience is why they use the airport in Vienna.

“We checked into Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and actually this was the least expensive than the other airports, and it’s close to home,” said Debbie Myers, of Canfield.

Becky Chmura, of Lowellville, agrees that Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is the cheapest. She also says it had the quickest flight to Florida.

North Lima’s Ed Zeock says he would rather drive to Vienna to catch a flight than Cleveland.

Those who run the airport admit there was just never enough interest in taking ADI to Chicago O’Hare, and then booking a second, separate connecting flight somewhere else.

Western Reserve Port Authority Executive Director John Moliterno says he and his staff are looking to find another carrier to take ADI’s place.

“People want to fly out of this airport. They appreciate the convenience we have, that’s what we have to offer. We’re going to continue to try to sell that,” he said. “We’re going to offer that same thing to other airlines to encourage them to fly out of our airport, because we know that our people want to fly.”

Moliterno says the Port Authority will still have to pay ADI’s contracted subsidy through Wednesday night on top of the $360,000 already spent. That leaves the remainder of a $1.2 million federal grant.

The Port Authority hopes to use that money to encourage another airline to fly out of YNG.


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