ADI Aerodynamics (4A, Pontiac) has filed a counterclaim against the Western Reserve Port Authority (WRPA) a year after it ceased operating a Chicago O'Hare flight from Youngstown/Warren airport because of cut subsidies. The airline says that claims that it misled the Authority over interline agreements are false, and it is calling for almost USD300,000 in outstanding invoices and damages, reports Business Journal Daily.

In 2016, WRPA awarded a subsidy agreement to ADI whereby the airline would provide flights from Youngstown to Chicago in exchange for monetary assistance during the start-up phase. The flight launched in July 2016 under ADI's Great Lakes Jet Express (Youngstown/Warren) brand, but ceased in August when WRPA learned that ADI did not have an interline agreement with United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare). The authority says that this impacted the marketability of the route given the lack of onward connectivity from Chicago. It launched a legal case against the airline in May in a bid to recover the USD360,000 it disbursed to ADI, claiming that it had been misled by ADI as to its relationship with United.

However, ADI insists that it was transparent in its dealings with WRPA. "At no point did ADI guarantee such connectivity. Instead, ADI kept WRPA continuously and accurately informed of the status of its hosting agreement and its relationship to other airlines," their court filing states. It says that the WRPA terminated their contract immediately after being informed that ADI had not secured an interline agreement with United, in breach of the terms of the contract.

When the flights launched last year, they were the first scheduled service for the airport in fourteen years. However, demand was low with load capacity at around 31%, reports news site Vindy. The WRPA board believed the disappointing load factor was due to poor connectivity onwards from Chicago.

"We weren't going to continue to pay for service that was losing money and not attracting passengers," said Dan Dickten, Youngstown Direct of Aviation, at the time. "We would never had started ticket sales had we known that there wouldn't be an interline agreement with United Airlines."