Just in time for the end of the busy holiday season, Cape Air and a regional airport in New Hampshire are promoting flights to Boston and New York for $12.
In attempt to qualify for federal grant money by flying out at least 10,000 passengers this year, the airport and Cape Air, its only airline, are offering holiday travelers the last-minute steal of a deal - $12 each way.
"We're basically sold out," said Trish Lorino, director of marketing and public relations for Cape Air. "That's the highest number of enplanements for Lebanon Airport in quite a long time."
The promotion, introduced on Christmas Eve, is an attempt to reach 10,o00 enplanements - a term to describe people flying out of an airport - for Lebanon Airport, a small, regional airport in the upper valley of New Hampshire. Once the airport hits the 10,000 mark, the FAA will give $1 million in grant money to help fund projects for the community airport.
"The typical projects would be safety, runway and taxiway projects, and equipment purchases," said Rick Dyment, manager of Lebanon Airport. "We would be able to improve the city's airport with these funds."
With the last-minute push to entice holiday travelers, Cape Air expects to hit that 10,000 level within the next day or so.
"By us [Cape Air] lowering that fare, it was our attempt to support the airport and get them to the 10,000 enplanement level," said Lorino. "The timing was ideal because it was a holiday week and people had flexibility and the freedom to travel."
Prior to the economy-friendly offer, a round-trip flight from Lebanon Airport to Boston's Logan Airport would cost travelers an average of $130. One-way flights to Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., would cost flyers $160.
The $12 fare reflects the fees and taxes on the individual flights.
Upon landing in White Plains, passengers are offered ground transportation to 35th Street and 8th Avenue in midtown Manhattan - a service that's included in the $12 fee. Free parking at the New Hampshire airport is also available.
"The total time from Lebanon Airport to midtown Manhattan is two and a half hours," said Dyment. "You can fly from Lebanon Airport to Boston in 55 minutes and then connect to other airlines in Boston."
But the deal won't last long. Cape Air's offer is only good through the end of the year.