Klamath Falls, Ore. – For the first time in over two years, commercial passenger flights have returned to the Crater Lake / Klamath Regional Airport.
Senator Ron Wyden said he believes the restoration of commercial air service will ‘turbo-charge’ the economy. He said “At 6:40 this morning, when this flight takes off, this is the dawn of a new era of possibilities for the basin.”
Klamath Falls lost passenger air service in June of 2014 – the first break in commercial traffic since 1947.
While the city signed a deal with PenAir over a year ago, it took an act of Congress to restore T.S.A. screening.
PenAir’s Melissa ‘Missy’ Roberts believes advance bookings reflect a profitable future. She said, “We have over 2,000 bookings, so that’s phenomenal – and the best start-up route we’ve ever had.”
Traveler Jay Schindler says having a local flight will save time.”I can save an hour, hour and a half by not going over the hill. This is pretty nice.”
The flights are a key business component for Jim Chadderdon of ‘Discover Klamath’. He said “As director of tourism, having the new airline is fantastic.”
PenAir will offer flights between Klamath Falls and Portland twice on weekdays, and once on Saturday and Sunday.
The arrival of the first PenAir flight from LMT to Portland was followed by a ‘Meet me in Klamath Falls’ celebration at PDX.
Senator Jeff Merkley caught the first flight back to Klamath Falls to mark the inaugural arrival.