$9 Million: The Price for New Air Service
Aer Lingus was wooed to Bradley International Airport with million-dollar bags of money. This is the new model for bringing commercial air service to Connecticut, in a world of increased capacity discipline. This story has been updated with the latest news coverage, below, with a much larger price tag for taxpayers than earlier stories.
The state offered Aer Lingus a substancial[sic] incentive package — including up to $9 million in taxpayer-funded assistance to offset losses in the airline’s first two years of service — plus another $5 million in fee waivers and marketing money. [emphasis added]
Kavanagh said the airline is grateful for that support, which shows a commitment to share risks during the initial “launch” period, or first three years. But he noted it was the airline taking the biggest chance.
“It’s our capital. It’s our aircraft. It’s our profit and loss account being tested here,” he said. “Ultimately, this is a very big investment from Aer Lingus. We’re doing it because expect it to work and we will work hard for it to work. The airline, he estimates, is investing $50 million for the expansion to Bradley, including adding a Boeing 757, with 174 seats to its fleet.