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Economy Doesn't Ground Airline Start-Ups

The tough economic climate has not stifled the entrepreneurial spirit, especially for the owners/founders of airline startups. One such entrepreneur is Kent Craford, who started SeaPort Airlines with his partners to offer a service catering to business commuters who travel between Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash. Craford says that commuters have to deal with long security lines in Portland and a long drive from Seattle's main airport to the downtown area, which leaves them exhausted. "I knew this firsthand, because I was doing that a lot," he recalls. SeaPort aims to save commuters time by flying small groups of passengers out of sections of airports that do not have long security lines, using nine-seat aircraft. The planes are less than 12,500 pounds and do not fly from or into sections of airports with screening checkpoints operated by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. SeaPort's small aircraft also could use alternative airports closer to downtown Seattle, saving commuters even more time.

December 9, 2009

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