Wednesday, Aug. 1, will bring a few changes to services provided by Silver Airways, formerly Gulfstream Airlines, in Montana.
In Havre, the Essential Air Service-subsidized schedule will temporarily move from a 9:45 p. m. daily arrival to 7:55 a. m. from Aug. 1 to Aug. 25, “to accommodate planned aircraft maintenance. ”
“Regular rotation aircraft have to go through what are called C-checks, which are mandated by the FAA, ” Steve Bennett, Silver spokesperson, said. “We have a few aircraft that operate in Montana that are going through these checks. ”
The Havre-Hill County Airport currently handles three flight times per day. The last is a flight that comes in at 9:45 p. m. and then stays the night. The first flight of each day brings that plane back out to take passengers to Billings through Lewistown at 8:05 a. m. Another departure/arrival combo takes place around 3 p. m. each day.
“By August 26, they’ll be back up and running and back on the original schedule, ” Bennett said.
The other, more permanent change, will halve services to the airport in Helena, which also flies to Billings, though unsubsidized.
On Aug. 1 the morning flights from Helena to Billings, that began on May 1, will cease.
The Associated Press reported that Silver Airways Vice President Mickey Bowman said Monday the company is averaging five passengers per flight, about half the average number needed to make the unsubsidized route profitable.
The afternoon flights will continue, which leave Helena at 2:25 p. m. and land in Billings at 3:25 p. m., with the return flight leaving Billings at 3:40 p. m.
Silver Airlines serves the routes with a 19-passenger jet.