The Newport City Council asked City Manager Spencer Nebel and Newport Airport Manager Lance Vanderbeck this week to explore an offer for airline service between Portland and Newport. Boutique Air is a well establish “short hop” commercial air service in 17 states across the country.
Boutique Air is offering one flight a day to Portland and one flight returning to Newport starting at around $45 each way. Boutique Air is also offering straight through baggage routing to American and United Airlines – so no luggage lugging once you arrive in Portland – if you want to fly those two airlines.
What allows this proposal is a half-million dollar state grant to Newport to help start up the service. Flights would leave Newport in the morning with a return flight in the late afternoon/early evening. The aircraft are King Aire twin-engine 9 passenger planes as well as single-engine PC-12s.
Several veteran city councilors indicated that although SeaPort Airlines tried to provide the same service nearly ten years ago, which didn’t pencil out, Boutique Air will not provide four round-trips a day like SeaPort – just one. Start small, grow over time appears to be Boutique Air’s business plan.
Airport Manager Lance Vanderbeck says if Newport wins the half-million dollar grant, air service might start up in about a year.