Silver Airways to Exit Cleveland Network, Retire Beech 1900s, and Strengthen Core Network and Saab 340B Plus Fleet

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—As part of its plan to strengthen operations, simplify its fleet, increase revenue, reduce costs, and better position the airline for future growth and new markets, Silver Airways today announced plans to exit operations in its Cleveland network and retrain or redeploy its pilots, mechanics, and airport team members to operate its core Saab 340B Plus fleet to its key markets.

Silver provided the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) with the required 90-day notice of its intent to discontinue scheduled service between Cleveland and five communities no later than May 15, 2014, including Jamestown, New York (JHW); Bradford, Pennsylvania (BFD); DuBois, Pennsylvania (DUJ); Franklin, Pennsylvania (FKL); and Parkersburg, West Virginia (PKB).

“We have been privileged to be able to serve these cities from Cleveland for almost six years, but multiple factors have combined to make it economically impossible for us to continue flying in these markets. As a result, we will be retiring our fleet of five remaining Beech 1900D aircraft and retraining or redeploying our pilots and maintenance team members, allowing us to conclude our fleet simplification efforts and focus exclusively on our core fleet of 28 advanced Saab 340B Plus aircraft. In doing so, we will be able to strengthen our operations in our key markets and position our airline for additional growth,” said Silver Airways President and CEO Dave Pflieger. “New federal regulations related to air transport pilot certification, as well as new flight and duty limitations and rest requirements have had the unintended effect of creating a nationwide pilot shortage and significantly increasing operating costs. Those facts, coupled with lower than expected passenger enplanements in most of these cities, the recently announced regional flight reductions at Cleveland International Airport, and our need to finalize our transition from 19-seat Beech 1900D aircraft to larger and more advanced and economical 34-seat Saab 340B Plus aircraft, all influenced our decision.”

“While we have announced our plans to exit these markets, we remain interested in serving any community or airport where our larger aircraft can operate economically,” said Pflieger. “The plans announced today are a necessary and important component of our strategy to improve our operational performance, to deliver world-class customer service, and to strengthen our network, so we and our teammates can continue to build a best-in-class next generation regional airline.”

The airline also confirmed that once operations in its Cleveland operations are discontinued, all team members in good standing who wish to remain with Silver will be offered opportunities elsewhere in its network. “We have open positions throughout our network, and we hope our team members choose to continue their careers with Silver,” added Pflieger.