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Montana has new Essential Air Service provider

By Associated Press
Published On: Sep 06 2013 08:04:33 AM MDT
BILLINGS, Mont. -

A Massachusetts airline has won Montana's Essential Air Service contract.
    
The Billings Gazette reports Cape Air of Hyannis, Mass., won a two-year, $11.9 million subsidy to provide flights between Billings and the communities of Glasgow, Glendive, Havre, Sidney and Wolf Point.
    
The U.S. Department of Transportation approved the subsidy on Thursday after the communities identified Cape Air as their preferred provider.
    
The Essential Air Service contract is currently held by Silver Airways, which will continue offering flights until Oct. 26. Silver Airways declined to bid on a new contract.
    
Cape Air will use nine-seat Cessna 402 planes to serve each community.
    
Under the contract, Sidney will have 34 nonstop round trip flights to Billings per week, Glendive will have 13 and the other communities will have 14 each.