Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has selected Boutique Air to continue providing Essential Air Service (EAS) between Pendleton and Portland with 21 nonstop round trips a week between the two cities.
“Regular air service is a cornerstone critical for continued economic growth, access to specialty health services and quality of life in Eastern Oregon,” Wyden said. “Commercial air service provides a key link between rural Oregon and both national and international economies, adding jobs and bringing in visitors.”
“Consistent and reliable air services help keep our families, Oregon businesses, and visitors connected, ” said Merkley. “Boutique Air has been providing critical services to travelers between Pendleton and Portland since 2017, connecting Oregonians to other regions of our state and beyond. I look forward to seeing the impact these investments have on local economies and job creation, on our rural communities, and on expanding tourism to all corners of our state. I will keep looking for more opportunities to support quality, accessible transportation options here in Oregon.”
The EAS program provides DOT funding to ensure that small communities continue to receive scheduled air service, usually to a large- or medium-hub airport. The contract with Boutique Air will include 21 nonstop round trips per week from Pendleton to Portland International Airport (PDX), using 8- or 9-seat aircraft through May 31, 2024. EAS currently subsidizes air service to about 60 communities in Alaska and 115 communities in the lower 48 contiguous states that otherwise would not receive any scheduled air service.
“Boutique Airlines has been providing EAS to Pendleton and the region since 2017, and they have delivered good service throughout that time, and they weathered the storm of the pandemic as good as any organization,” said John Honemann, Manager at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, in a letter to DOT.
A web version of this release is here.