LINCOLN–(KFOR Aug. 23)–Only months after launching its air service from the Lincoln Airport, Red Way Airlines on Wednesday morning announced they are ceasing operations.
All flights booked after Aug. 31 have been cancelled.
In July, Red Way announced they were dropping flight service from Lincoln to Minneapolis, Atlanta and Austin, Texas. The airline was unveiled in March as a partnership between the Lincoln Airport, GlobalX Air Tours and Global Crossing Airlines with the goal of gaining tourism to other places, while encouraging people to travel to Lincoln.
Money received by the Lincoln City Council and Lancaster County Board from funding through the American Rescue Plan Act made the chartered flights possible. The funding was for $3-million.
The Lincoln Airport Authority released the following statement to KFOR News just before noon Wednesday.
“LAA has terminated our contractual agreement with Fly Next, LLC, the entity behind Red Way’s operations. LAA was alerted by Red Way executives early this week that the future sustainability of their scheduled operations in Lincoln is not viable and that they will be ceasing all flying operations by the end of August.
‘The Lincoln Airport Authority Board is disappointed by the ultimate outcome of Red Way’s
service in Lincoln. Board members have met to discuss the result of the service, actions
necessary to both address this situation and chart future efforts and oversight on what’s to come.’
– John Olsson, LAA Board Chair
This is extremely disheartening for the airport after all the efforts the community, city, county, airport authority board members and employees have put towards bringing affordable, new air service to Lincoln. Our customers are the priority. LNK is working with Red Way staff to minimize disruptions for passengers who have already booked flights beyond August 31, and the airline will be reaching out to passengers directly to refund tickets.
The Lincoln Airport Authority is dedicated to continuing our pursuit of sustainable air service for LNK and the community. This will be our top priority.
‘Lincoln, Lancaster County and the Airport Authority showed an industry lacking creative solutions to air service challenges what could be achieved when public and private entities work together towards a common goal. Clearly we were hoping Red Way would have been successful long term. However, it was truly amazing to witness first-hand the level of excitement that access to destination markets brought to our customers, even in a short time. Leisure service in our community is feasible and our team will work tirelessly to bring those options to Lincoln permanently.’ – David Haring
The financial support that Lancaster County and the City of Lincoln committed through the American Rescue Plan Act, coupled with the unrelenting efforts of the Airport, Chamber of Commerce, University of Nebraska, LNK passengers and others, ensured that everything possible that could be done to see the effort succeed had been done. These are the exact relationships that are vital for our community to embrace both now and in the future as we seek to show airlines and other businesses that Lincoln is worth investing in.”
The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce also issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon.
“The Chamber is disappointed to learn that RedWay is discontinuing its operations. We appreciate Lincoln Airport Authority board and staff for their efforts to create a new model for expanded air service in Lincoln. Businesses understand very well that you need to innovate to be competitive, and innovation always comes with some risk. The Chamber will continue to support the efforts of the Lincoln Airport Authority to fund and compete for greater flight diversity available at the Lincoln Airport.”