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BREAKING: Advanced Air Awarded Third EAS Contract
Hawthorne, California-based airline Advanced Airlines has just been awarded its third Essential Air Service contract. While three may not seem like a lot compared to the mass number of contracts that carriers like SkyWest have, it is still growth for an airline that only a few years ago had only a single EAS community and not many routes.
The contract Advanced has won is for the New Mexican city of Carlsbad. Flights are contracted to begin on Nov. 5, 2023 and lasting at least until the contracts expiration two years from now on Oct. 31, 2025. The subsidy amount for the airline will be $5,205,254 for the first year and $5,517,570 for the second year.
At the moment, Advanced Air operates two EAS contracts in addition to the newly awarded Carlsbad, N.M.: Silver City, which is also located in New Mexico, and Merced in California.
Currently, the airport is served by San Francisco-based Boutique Air, using 8-seat Pilatus PC-12s to Albuquerque 12 times weekly and Dallas Ft. Worth six times a week. With Advanced, Carlsbad will be getting a very slight increase in capacity as well as a destination change; Advanced Air will be using their King Air 350s, which seat 9 passengers, versus Boutique’s 8-seat aircraft.
From Carlsbad, N.M., Advanced will still be serving Albuquerque 12 times a week, but instead of six weekly flights to Dallas, the airline will be operating seven weekly flights to Phoenix Sky Harbor. This means Advanced will have roughly 10 extra seats a week than its predecessor in Carlsbad. This is not a lot more by any means, but any extra seats are improvement for EAS communities.
While this is great for Advanced Air and is a win for them, EAS contracts being awarded to a new airline mean that there is an airline loosing a destination, in this case Boutique Air. This will bring the San Francisco-based airline down to just two EAS contracts, each with one route. Boutique flies between Pendleton, Ore. and Portland, Ore., and it is the only airline in Massena, N.Y. , which it will soon only connect to Boston.
Advanced Air is showing their commitment to New Mexico and is now the largest carrier in the state by number of destinations served. With the addition of Carlsbad, N.M., this will have them serving five cities in the state. They have a hub in Albuquerque, and they also serve Silver City, which was their original EAS city in 2019; Gallup, which they started in August of 2022; and Las Cruses, which they began flying to in January of 2023.
Carlsbad, N.M. to Phoenix will become the carrier’s longest route by distance at 457 miles, and will be roughly 30 miles longer than Boutique Air’s current flight to Dallas Ft. Worth. This will be one of the longer EAS routes being served on a propeller aircraft. Advanced Air will also be the only airline to ever serve two Carlsbad Airports simultaneously, as they also fly to Carlsbad, Calif. and operate service to Mammoth Lakes on board 30-seat Dornier 328Jets.
One could theoretically fly between both Carlsbad Airports on Advanced Air, although it would take multiple days and at least four flights.
The Carlsbad, N.M. contract was only awarded to Advanced Air a few days ago, on July 27th, and they have yet to publish it on their booking platform or even announce the new city to their network. But an announcement is expected in the coming weeks, as it is still pretty early on in the announcement process.
All data and information and maps were obtained through public information, either on the carrier’s website or Regulations.gov.
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