The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport’s Travel Bank – Air Service Initiative has reached $1.6 million in pledges from 55 businesses and individuals since the program began a month ago.
“The response from businesses and individuals from our community has been strong thus far. We are ahead of pace in our pledges and will continue to work with local businesses to reach our intended target of $5 million in pledges,” said Dan Dickten, director of aviation at the airport.
A travel bank is a list of pledges made by local businesses, large employers and individuals who travel frequently, that state what each entity will spend each year on new air service should it be initiated from a local airport.
The purpose of the Travel Bank – Air Service Initiative is to quantify travel demand for the airline that otherwise is not quantifiable. It shows that the local community supports potential new air service and is willing to put its money where its mouth is to pledge this high level of support. The pledge goal for the air-service initiative is $3 million to $5 million, Dickten said.
The Youngstown- Warren Regional Airport and the community have been working aggressively to re-establish regularly scheduled commercial air service at the regional airport, which last operated in 2003, to a hub of a major U.S. airline.
Recently, the community received a $780,000 grant from the Department of Transportation to be used as an airline revenue guarantee. The DOT grant along with the Travel Bank pledges will go a long way in luring a major airline to the local airport to support both the business- and pleasure- traveling community, said Dickten. For instance, in 2011, the St. Cloud, Minn., Regional Airport raised $6.2 million in pledges for a new American Eagle daily air-service route to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, he said.
To make a pledge to the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport Air Service Initiative, visit www.yngtravelbank.com. For information, contact Dickten at 330-856-1537.