08.12.04

Schumer Welcomes Independence Air To Stewart Airport

Schumer brings Rick DeLisi of Independence Air to Stewart Airport and displays new jet that airline will use for Stewart flights Senator encourages close relationship between CEO and local business leaders

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today welcomed Independence Air to Stewart Airport by bringing the airline's Director of Corporate Communications, Rick DeLisi, to the area to unveil a new jet and meet with local business leaders. Schumer said it was important to introduce DeLisi to the Hudson Valley community 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.

In September, Independence Air will begin 6 daily round trip flights from Stewart/ Newburgh to Washington DC and 21 connecting cities for as low as $49 for a oneway ticket. All flights are nonstop between Stewart/ Newburgh and Washington DC. Schumer said that customers will be able to fly from Stewart/ Newburgh to the following cities: Atlanta, Buffalo, Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Dayton, Detroit, Greensboro (NC), Greenville/Spartanburg (SC), Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Lansing, Louisville, Nashville, Norfolk, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham and Savannah.

"Inexpensive air service to Upstate New York is proving to be so popular that companies cant 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."

In November, Schumer helped to pave the way for the new lowfare service 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 Antitrust Division to investigate Mesa's attempt to see if the company may be engaging in anticompetitive behavior. Mesa dropped plans for the takeover upon learning that the Justice Department was considering conducting an investigation citing regulatory issues.

Last month, Schumer announced that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had agreed, at his request, to send new security screeners and add a second security screening lane at Stewart. Because of a shortage of screeners, airport officials were concerned that screening personnel levels would not be enough to accommodate new Independence Air and Southeast flights headed to the airport. TSA also agreed to staff flights after 8 p.m., including the new Independence Air flight at 8:55 p.m. The lack of a second security screening lane has caused delays during Stewarts busiest hours of the weeks, when wait times can sometimes exceed an hour, according to airport officials. Schumer has led the charge to bring affordable air service to upstate New York. Since 2001, he has also helped to bring JetBlue flights to Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester and Southwest flights to Albany. Schumer was joined by Chuck Seliga, President of Stewart Airport; James Wright, Chairman of Stewart Airport Commission; and John D'Ambrosio, President of Orange County Chamber of Commerce.



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