Gulfstream Receives “Essential Air Service Contracts” For Cleveland Routes


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Gulfstream Receives “Essential Air Service Contracts” For Cleveland Routes

By Jim Douglas

September 21, 2010 - Gulfstream International Group, Inc. announced that it will receive $8.5 million in federal subsidies as part of the Essential Air Service Program for five routes for small communities around Cleveland, OH. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has awarded the Company new two-year contracts as the Essential Air Service provider for the communities of Bradford, PA; DuBois, PA; Franklin/Oil City, PA; Parkersburg, WV; and Jamestown, NY. Gulfstream operates flights from all five cities to Cleveland. 

The federal funds are granted under the Essential Air Service Program. Essential Air Service (EAS) is a U.S. government program enacted to guarantee that small communities in the United States, which, prior to deregulation, were served by certificated airlines, maintained commercial service. 


Its aim is to maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service to these communities that otherwise would not be profitable. This came in response to the Airline Deregulation Act, passed in 1978, which gave U.S. airlines almost total freedom to determine which markets to serve domestically and what fares to charge for that service. The program is codified at 49 U.S.C. § 41731–41748. 

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) subsidizes airlines to serve rural communities across the country that otherwise would not receive any scheduled air service. As of June 1, 2009, 152 communities are being served with a subsidy, of which 45 are from Alaska, whose guidelines for service are separate and distinct from the rest of the country. 

The decision as to what degree of subsidized service a community requires is made based on identifying a specific hub for the community and from there determining the number of trips, seats, and type of aircraft that are necessary to reach that hub. 


David Hackett, CEO of Gulfstream, said, “We believe we provide the right fit to these communities; as a niche operator with a unique aircraft size, we are able to efficiently connect these smaller markets to expanded air service. We strive to offer excellent customer service in all our markets, and will continue to seek out new markets for growth, particularly those represented by the Essential Air Service Program.” 

Gulfstream currently operates 23 aircraft with over 150 daily system departures throughout Florida, the Bahamas and now with service at Cleveland, OH. Gulfstream also has codeshare relationships with several major air carriers. The Company, with its headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, has approximately 500 employees, the bulk of which are Florida based. Gulfstream is a member of the Regional Airline Association.


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