The US Department of Transportation (DOT) says it has selected Boutique Air (4B, San Francisco, CA) to provide Essential Air Services (EAS) between Pendleton and Portland Int'l, OR from October 1, 2016, through December 31, 2018. The previous contract was held by SeaPort Airlines (K5, Portland Int'l, OR) and was to expire on December 31, 2016, however, the operator ceased all services and filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy on September 21, 2016.

Under the terms of its contract, the Californian airline will provide 21 weekly roundtrips between Pendleton and Portland using PC-12 equipment at an annual subsidy of USD2,273,823. Boutique Air is willing to swap one daily flight on the route to either Seattle Tacoma Int'l or Boise at the community’s request. The DOT has selected Seattle as it cannot subsidise services to more than two hubs, but leaves Boutique Air the opportunity to fly between Pendleton and Boise without subsidy.

The only other carrier to have submitted a proposal was SeaPort since the DOT began soliciting proposals from carriers prior to the demise of the Oregon-based airline