Silver Airways (3M, Fort Lauderdale Int'l) has lodged bids for five ex-PenAir Essential Air Service (EAS) routes in Nebraska and Kansas, with the stipulation that it will take all the routes or none at all. Silver Airways proposes to offer 12x weekly flights between Denver Int'l and each of Scottsbluff, Kearney, North Platte, Dodge City, and Liberal.

In making its bid, Silver points out that it offers codeshare with United Airlines, jetBlue Airways and Avianca, as well as interline agreements with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Bahamasair, Hahn Air, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras, and ANA - All Nippon Airways.

"We believe Silver’s unique offer of branded and coordinated flights to a major hub will begin to restore traffic to historic levels," the bid states.

To carry out the services, Silver Airways is asking for USD14.8 million for the total period of 48 months. Flights will be carried out with Saab 340B equipment, and the carrier intends to position two aircraft at Denver to act as spares. However, Silver's ambitious plan will only work if it can be sure of the entire network.

"In order to begin Essential Air Service to any of the five communities subject to this proceeding, Silver must be selected as the Essential Air Service provider to all five Essential Air Service communities," the proposal says. "Silver can only achieve the operational and economic economies of scale required to support this proposal with the level of activity envisioned in this proposal."

Other airlines bidding on all five cities are Boutique Air, Great Lakes Airlines, and Key Lime Air, although they are offering them as standalone proposals.

The bidding summary is as follows:

  • Kearney: Air Choice One, Boutique Air, Great Lakes Aviation, Key Lime Air, SkyValue Airways, SkyWest Airlines (United States of America).
  • Dodge City: Boutique Air, Great Lakes Aviation, Key Lime Air.
  • Scottsbluff: Boutique Air, Great Lakes Aviation, Key Lime Air, SkyValue Airways, SkyWest Airlines.
  • North Platte: Boutique Air, Great Lakes Aviation, Key Lime Air, SkyValue Airways, SkyWest Airlines.
  • Liberal: Boutique Air, Great Lakes Aviation, Key Lime Air, SkyValue Airways, SkyWest Airlines.