|Hubs||Bedford, Massachusetts (Hanscom Field)|
|Frequent-flyer program||The Clipper Club|
|Headquarters||Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA|
|Key people||David Fink, President|
Boston-Maine Airways (BMA) was an American airline headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States. It operated scheduled commuter services under the Pan Am Clipper Connection banner. Its main base was Pease International Airport, Portsmouth. Boston-Maine Airways ceased all Pan Am flights on February 29, 2008.
Boston-Maine Airways was established in March 1999 and started operations in May 2000. It was founded as a feeder for Pan American Airways and also flew leased BAe Jetstream 31 aircraft for Caesar's of Atlantic City, New Jersey. It is wholly owned by Pan Am Systems (formerly known as Guilford Transportation Industries), which owns the Pan Am brand.
Under the name Pan Am Clipper Connection, Boston-Maine Airways operated six round-trips daily between Trenton–Mercer Airport in Ewing, New Jersey, and Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts. Boston-Maine Airways also operated one round-trip daily between Trenton–Mercer Airport and Pease International Airport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Guilford ceased operating Pan American Airways on November 1, 2004, but operations were transferred to Boston-Maine Airways, which resumed Boeing 727 service under the Pan Am Clipper Connection brand on February 17, 2005.
In August 2005, a federal investigation into fraudulent financial data submitted by Boston-Maine Airways halted plans to expand its fleet and route system. At the same time, the airline pilots union claimed that the airline was unfit to operate and urged the Department of Transportation to deny the airline's certification for expansion. The airline later announced that it was suspending service from September 6 to November 16, citing rising fuel costs and decreased levels of booking. In the middle of October 2005, the airline suspended Boeing 727 flights indefinitely from several airports that it served, including its home base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
However, by March 21, 2006, Pan Am Clipper Connection became the first announced non-charter service to connect to the growing Tunica Municipal Airport in Tunica, Mississippi. The addition not only connected the carrier to a burgeoning casino destination, but also aided efforts to bolster Tunica Municipal as a secondary airport to Memphis International Airport in nearby Memphis, Tennessee. Boston-Maine Airways' Pan Am Clipper Connection flew from Tunica Municipal Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport three times per week; the service to Tunica had ended by October the same year.
On August 1, 2006, Boston-Maine Airways announced that it would begin Pan Am Clipper Connection service to Elmira-Corning Regional Airport in Elmira, New York. Company executives believed that Elmira was a perfect fit for the company, with its close proximity to Rochester, Ithaca, Binghamton, and Williamsport. The airline flew twice-daily routes to Bedford, Massachusetts, Trenton, New Jersey, and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Proposed future plans included possible flights to Orlando and Tampa, Florida, using Boeing 727 aircraft. However, by fall of 2007, service to Elmira ceased.
Pan Am Clipper Connection began non-stop service to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Bedford, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire from New Haven, Connecticut, on March 8, 2007, using 19 seat Jetstream 31 aircraft. Service was later discontinued in August 2007.
End of service
On February 1, 2008, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Show Cause Order (Order 2008-2-3, DOT Docket Number DOT-OST-2000-7668), concluding that Boston-Maine's air carrier certificate should be revoked for three reasons: 1) lack of financial fitness, 2) lack of proper management oversight, and 3) lack of "compliance disposition," or willingness to follow federal laws, rules and regulations.
The motion to revoke Boston-Maine's DOT air carrier certificate was brought by the Air Line Pilots Association. DOT specifically cited the numerous instances where the airline's officials had failed to follow federal laws and regulations and had filed false financial data with the Department in its application for authority to fly large aircraft. The DOT concluded that it would have never granted the large aircraft authority had it known of the false information filed by Boston-Maine.
The DOT also rejected the carrier's arguments that it was not responsible for the Company's former General Counsel and Vice President's filing of such false information (Boston-Maine had asserted that this individual had acted alone, without the Company's knowledge or involvement).
On February 28, 2008, Boston-Maine Airways ended its Jetstream-based scheduled passenger service. March 29, 2008 was the last 727 flight.
Beginning in July 2008, the company moved 8 of its planes to Concord Municipal Airport in New Hampshire, with the intent to keep them there until buyers took the planes. Parked on the ramp were six Jetstream 31s to be sold, but one Jetstream and a Citation 500 (the ninth ever made) were placed in the corporate hangar operated by Concord Aviation Services. As of August 30, 2008, six planes remain on the ramp, with the aforementioned two in the hangar.
Boston-Maine Airways operated the following services:
- United States
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Puerto Rico
- Dominican Republic
The Boston-Maine Airways fleet consisted of the following aircraft (as of June 2007):
|Aircraft||In Service||On Order||Notes|
|BAe Jetstream 31||6||6 on the ramp at Concord Municipal Airport to be sold, one in a hangar.|
|Boeing 727-200||3||"cold storage"|
- "Contact Us." Pan Am Clipper Connection. January 11, 2007. Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 88.
- Pan Am stops flying. USA Today. 2008-03-03.
- McCord, Michael (August 5, 2005). DOT begins probe of Pease airline. The Portsmouth Herald.
- Huettel, Steve (August 13, 2005). Pan Am cancels flights for 2 months. St. Petersburg Times.
- McCord, Michael (October 14, 2005). No more Pan Am flights at Pease. The Portsmouth Herald.
- Haberman, Shir (2008-02-04). "U.S. DOT ready to pull Boston-Maine’s license to fly". Seacoastonline.com. Retrieved 2008-02-05.