By Michael Garko, In Airline News
PeoplExpress founder Mike Morisi stated Monday that his airline will not be able to launch operations next month as originally hoped. The airline has apparently run into trouble in acquiring aircraft for operations, as well as satisfying the Department of Transportation of its financial standing.
“It’s quite an intense certification process,” Mike Morisi, founder of the new PeoplExpress, says to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.”It’s taken longer than we expected it would or hoped it would.”
Morisi and his partners announced in February an attempt to bring back the failed 1980′s PeoplExpress name. Plans include having base operations at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia. Plans also included having a focus cities in Pittsburgh, Providence, West Palm Beach and Newark.
The airline originally filed its paperwork for operating authority with the DOT on March 19, and has since provided supplemental information, but has yet to satisfy the department’s desires to obtain an operating certificate. It is now planning on adjusting its route network plans, and resubmitting those plans in the next month in hopes of speeding up the approval process.
One problem in the airline’s plan to date is the lack of having obtained any aircraft for operations.
People Express has been in talks with Australian carrier, Qantas, for several months to purchase up to 14 of its older Boeing 737-400 jets, but has not been able to strike a deal. The airline is now considering utilizing smaller Boeing 737-300s from another operator. The airline has also posted a picture of its livery on a Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft on its Facebook page.
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“We’re still in negotiations with several operators and aircraft owners” said Morisi. “We anticipate that we’ll make an announcement about that within the next month or so.”
Another significant hurdle is showing the DOT that the airline has raised enough capital to satisfy the Department of Transportation’s financial fitness requirements. “We have a very solid plan in place. We’re comfortable and happy with the way it’s moving,” says Morisi to the Post-Gazette.
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n that topic, PeoplExpress marketing chief DeZarn tells Travel Weekly, “We are re-evaluating our route network to make sure that it is the best plan for us.”