Klamath Falls, Ore. – Monday marks the final day of passenger air service to Klamath Falls through PenAir.
After less than one year of service to Klamath Falls, PenAir is flying away.
Crater Lake / Klamath Regional Airport Director John Barsalou got the news Friday. “I was obviously disappointed, disheartened – I just couldn’t believe it.”
Airport Business Director Linda Tepper revealed the reason behind the termination. “We did get notice that PenAir has filed for bankruptcy as of August 6th.”
The shutdown will force layoffs for about 16 PenAir and T.S.A. employees.
“My understanding is the equipment will remain until we can sort out what other options we have.” Notes Barsalou. “I don’t know how long that will be.”
It’s likely the ‘ripple effect’ could jeopardize other jobs in the region as well.
The airport and city will be exploring all options for regaining service.
“It’s difficult.” Says Tepper. “There aren’t a lot of options out there, but we will certainly be looking at everything that is possible.”
Tepper adds the shutdown causes extra problems for those who have already purchased tickets. “The best advice I can give you is to go back to the agency that you purchased the ticket from.”
But for now, customers won’t be flying out of the Crater Lake / Klamath Regional Airport.
PenAir will be terminating all flights out of Portland and Denver, with the exception of flights between Portland and Crescent City, California.
That flight is subsidized by the federal government.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.