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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2004

Schumer Introduces New Low Cost Air Service To Buffalo Area – Unveils New Independence Air Jet And Brings Ceo To Meet With Local Leaders

Schumer and CEO Kerry Skeen visit Buffalo with new jet that Independence Air will use for flights from Buffalo Niagara International Airport

Schumer encourages close relationship between CEO and local business leaders

US Senator Charles E. Schumer introduced Independence Air CEO Kerry Skeen to Western New York by bringing him to Buffalo to unveil his new jet and meeting with local business leaders. Schumer said it was important to introduce Skeen to the Buffalo community and to encourage close relationships between the airline and local business leaders to maximize the benefit of the new affordable air service to the area economy.

"Companies often look at the number of flights before bringing business here, and up until a few years ago people were complaining there was no way to fly here at a reasonable rate,” Schumer said. “Low fare flights have a domino effect, causing other carriers to keep their ticket prices down. Independence Air is going to be a shot in the arm for this region– because where there is affordable airfare new visitors and new businesses will follow.”

Schumer and Skeen unveiled a new Independence Air Jet that will be used on service between Buffalo and Washington DC Dulles International Airport. This July, Independence Air will begin 8 daily round trip flights from Buffalo to Washington DC and 26 connecting cities for as low as $59 for a one-way ticket. Schumer said Buffalo area customers will be able fly to the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Chicago, Columbia (SC), Columbus (OH), Dayton, Greensboro (NC), Greenville/Spartanburg (SC), Hartford, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Louisville, Manchester (NH), New York (JFK), Nashville, Newark, Norfolk, Portland (ME), Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Savannah, Stewart/Newburgh (NY) and White Plains (NY).

Schumer also released the following schedule for flights between Buffalo and Washington DC.

To view chart click here

In November, Schumer helped to pave the way for this new low-fare service to Upstate New York by getting the Justice Department to block a hostile takeover of Independence Airline by Mesa Airlines. Schumer, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged the Justice Department Anti-trust Division to investigate Mesa's attempt to see if the company may be engaging in anti-competitive behavior. Mesa dropped plans for the takeover upon learning that the Justice Department was considering conducting an investigation citing regulatory issues.

"Cheap air service to Upstate New York is proving to be so popular that companies can’t help but add flights," Schumer said. "That's good news for passengers looking to fly in and out of the area and good for attracting businesses."

Schumer has led the charge to bring affordable air service to upstate New York. Since 2001, Schumer has helped to bring JetBlue flights to Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester and Southwest flights to Albany.

Schumer was joined by Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello; Buffalo Niagara Partnership President Andrew Rudnick; Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Executive Director Lawrence Meckler; and Buffalo Niagara International Airport Aviation Director Bill Vanecek.

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