- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) - A new airline has been chosen to provide commercial service from the central Kansas community of Great Bend.

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an order Monday granting Portland, Ore.-based SeaPort Airlines a two-year contract under the federal Essential Air Service program.

The announcement comes less than a week after Great Lakes Airlines notified the city it would stop serving Great Bend Municipal Airport at the end of March.

Airport manager Martin Miller says it’s not yet known when SeaPort will begin offering service. The contract calls for 18 round-trip flights per week, including two daily flights to Wichita and one to Kansas City on weekdays. Three weekend flights are also planned.

SeaPort will offer an introductory fare of $39 one-way for the first 30 days of service on every flight.

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