The US Department of Transportation allowed Boutique Air (4B, San Francisco, CA) to use PC-12s on its essential air service route from Victoria, TX due to the poor reliability of the Beech (twin turboprop) King Air used to date.

"Boutique Air has stated that King Air 350s have proven to be less reliable than anticipated; therefore, to continue serving Victoria reliably, it would like to have the flexibility to supplement the King Air 350s with PC-12s on an as-needed basis," the DOT explained.

The DOT agreed to allow the carrier to use the single-engine Pilatus Aircraft turboprop but for not more than 59 consecutive days. The Victoria community supported the change of the terms of the EAS.

Boutique Air earlier said that it had hoped to eventually transition all Victoria operations to PC-12s, although this plan was not a part of the official DOT request. The DOT did not respond to this intention and did not clarify whether it would allow for such a transition.

The per-flight compensation for Boutique Air will drop from USD1,555 to USD1,267 for every flight operated with the PC-12 instead of the King Air until the end of October 2019.

Boutique Air currently operates from Victoria to Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston Intc'l, 13x daily on each of the routes. It is the only carrier serving the airport. Boutique Air's EAS contract is valid through the end of October 2020.