Clint Ostler, president of Dash Air Shuttle, announces details of the startup airline’s plans to begin service between Port Angeles and SeaTac Airport in Seattle during a gathering of Port of Port Angeles commissioners and others on Tuesday at William R. Fairchild International Airport. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Clint Ostler, president of Dash Air Shuttle, announces details of the startup airline’s plans to begin service between Port Angeles and SeaTac Airport in Seattle during a gathering of Port of Port Angeles commissioners and others on Tuesday at William R. Fairchild International Airport. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Dash Air taking reservations for first flights in August

Several aspects unfinished as of Tuesday

PORT ANGELES — Dash Air Shuttle is ready to fly.

Really, it is, says the company’s president, despite some loose ends.

The startup commercial carrier, whose pattern of on-again, off-again start dates for re-establishing air service from Port Angeles to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport began last spring, finally named the day its first flight will leave William R. Fairchild International Airport: Thursday, Aug. 11, at 6:50 a.m.

On Tuesday, Dash Air President Clint Ostler debuted the company’s ticket sale website to a gathering of Port of Port Angeles Commissioners at Fairchild.

Flydashair.com went live at noon.

Dash had previously announced service would start on Sept. 30, 2021, and, when that didn’t happen, on Nov. 15. This year, the initiation of service was announced for January and then again in May.

In case anyone was doubtful that this time was for real, Ostler, who had previewed his announcement earlier in the morning at the Port Angeles Business Association meeting, reassured them: “We’re super confident we’re going to be up for the August date.”

The last flights between the Port of Port Angeles-owned Fairchild to Boeing Field in Seattle ended in November 2014 when Kenmore Air Express stopped its service.

Dash Air officials plan to start by offering four departures a day Monday through Friday; two departures on Saturday; and three departures on Sunday, he said. This schedule is to be expanded next year to accommodate what Ostler said he anticipated would be increased demand.

The one-way ticket fares of $89 to $169 reflect different levels of refundability and baggage fees. Dash Air also is offering a coupon book for frequent flyers of 32 trips for $2,500 and 42 trips for $5,000, valid for one year.

There will be no physical TSA security check at Fairchild for at least a year, Ostler said. Until then, travelers to Sea-Tac will disembark at Signature Flight Support, a ground handling service at the airport, and take a Dash Air shuttle to the main terminal, where they will go through TSA security, he said.

Dash Air will have a podium at Sea-Tac located in the baggage claim area; the exact location has not yet been determined.

Ostler said eventually 12 to 13 Dash Air employees will be working in Port Angeles. He is in the process of hiring customer service staff to handle the reservation support line.

Until then, Ostler said, “I am customer service. So, please purchase your tickets online!”

Dash Air has hired and certified two pilots who will begin training when the first plane arrives in Port Angeles in about a week and a half, Ostler said, but the airline would like to keep a pipeline of recruits available as a hedge against an industry-wide shortage of airline professionals.

Unfinished business

As the countdown to Aug. 11 approaches, there remain some loose ends Dash Air must address before it can celebrate its inaugural flight.

First, its nine-person Cessna 402C twin-engine planes still need FAA certification. Ostler attributed the delay in certification to the fact the FAA needed to approve every step of stripping down, refurbishing and creating new documentation for the nearly 40-year-old planes Dash Air purchased.

“There’s a lot of back and forth,” Ostler said.

Dash Air also does not have signed agreements with Sea-Tac and Signature Flight Support that would enable it to take advantage of some fee waivers, he said, adding that he anticipates those will happen soon.

And the name “Dash Air” likely will be changed before next year. Rather than continue its trademark dispute with Kalinin Aviation, LLC, of Juneau, Alaska, over the name, Ostler said the company had submitted an alternative to the trademark office. Once it is approved, the company formerly known as Dash Air will begin transitioning to a new name and logo, he said.

The Port of Port Angeles has provided significant economic support to Dash Air’s efforts. That includes $333,000 in revenue guarantees consisting of $133,000 in port general funds that will be tapped first and $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation Small Community Air Service Development Program.

Port officials have waived parking fees as well as $19,814 in landing fees and rent. Its funding subsidizes $78 of each ticket cost and $695 for each flight.

Port officials will control the fund; they will draw it down to cover any revenue losses incurred by Dash Air that prevent it from breaking even due to unsold seats.

“I feel confident that, from I’ve heard from Clint, that we’ll be ready on Aug. 11,” said Port Commissioner Colleen McAleer, who was juggling papers and a cell phone as she walked. “I’m trying to get on the site right now to buy a ticket.”

________

Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached by email at [email protected]

Dash Air Shuttle pilot Joshua Crabtree, left, speaks with airline president Clint Ostler on Tuesday at William R. Fairchild International Airport. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Dash Air Shuttle pilot Joshua Crabtree, left, speaks with airline president Clint Ostler on Tuesday at William R. Fairchild International Airport. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Three Dash Air Shuttle Cessna 403C aircraft sit parked at William R. Fairchild International Airport in August 2021 as they await entering into scheduled service between Port Angeles and SeaTac Airport. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Three Dash Air Shuttle Cessna 403C aircraft sit parked at William R. Fairchild International Airport in August 2021 as they await entering into scheduled service between Port Angeles and SeaTac Airport. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

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