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Survey takers sought on Mahoning Valley airline service

WARREN — The Western Reserve Port Authority and the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber have partnered to launch an electronic survey on air travel activity among local businesses.

Information from the survey to determine pre- and anticipated post-pandemic air passenger needs will be used by the port authority in its effort to secure the right airline to serve the local market at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

The port authority, which manages the airport in Vienna, asked the chamber to design and deploy the survey. It has been exploring options to restore service to the airport.

“This will ensure the community has a voice in determining the best air passenger service provider for the region. We want to accommodate our business leaders, leisure passengers and future growth opportunities in the (Mahoning) Valley by supplying daily air passenger flights to destinations most in-demand,” said John Moliterno, port authority CEO.

The survey will be open until June 11. It can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/YNGAIR.

Sarah Boyarko, chamber chief operating officer, said: “Air service continues to be a need for local companies, as well as for the businesses we attract to the market. Engaging the business community in this process is important to the port authority’s efforts.”

The airport has been without regular daily passenger service for more than a decade. Northwest Airlines shut down its two daily turboprop flights in fall 2002, and the next year, attempts to land daily Delta flights didn’t pan out.

In early 2014, the port authority had been in serious talks with United Airlines to bring in twice-daily United Express connector flights to Chicago, but United backed away, stating there was not a solid business case for starting the daily passenger service at the airport.

In the summer of 2016,Georgia-based Aerodynamics Inc. through its Great Lakes JetExpress service, briefly provided daily service to Chicago O’Hare International. The service launched July 1, but was abruptly grounded weeks later.

Allegiant Air provided leisure service at the airport for about 10 years before stopping in January 2018.

business@tribtoday.com

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