PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Nearly five months after Appalachian Air celebrated its first flight from Pikeville, Kentucky, to Nashville, Tennessee, officials say a marketing campaign is necessary to try to jump-start the airline’s slow take off.
Consultant Luke Schmidt told the Pikeville-Pike County Airport board last week that continued low ridership is spurring the move. He recommended a $220,000 proposal that would include cable TV commercials.
Ridership hasn’t been near projections. There were 78 passengers in the month of December, less than half of what was expected. In February, there were only 17 passengers; ridership was projected at 139.
The Appalachian News-Express (http://bit.ly/1H2gZIW) reports board members approved spending $160,000 for the marketing plan and said it would seek partners for the rest.
Officials hope that bringing commercial air service to eastern Kentucky will help the economy.